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Putin: We won World Cup bid fairly

Vladimir Putin has insisted that the 2018 football World Cup will go ahead in his country, despite the launch of an investigation into alleged corruption during the bidding process.

Putin doesn't believe the decision to host the World Cup can be changed Credit: Reuters

The Russian president said England's failure to secure the tournament came about because the bid team did not exhibit its country's potential as a host.

Prosecutors in Switzerland are conducting an investigation into allegations of money laundering surrounding Fifa's handling of the 2010 bidding process which led to Russia being named hosts for 2018 and Qatar for 2022.

But Mr Putin said: "If anyone has evidence, let them present it. We won in a fair fight and we are going to host the World Cup. Any other decision we will consider unfair."

"Great Britain did not exhibit all their potential for what it needed to do to win the World Cup.

"We don't think we are guilty of anything. We fought for the bid fairly. We don't think the decision can be changed. Construction of the stadia has begun and the next World Cup is very soon."

David Beckham's daughter given kit by England women

The kit given to David Beckham's three-year-old daughter Harper Seven. Credit: David Beckham Facebook

David Beckham's daughter Harper Seven received a personalised kit from the England women's football team ahead of their World Cup opener.

Proud dad David posted a picture of the shirt, shorts and socks on social media with a thank you message.

England face France in their first match of the competition tomorrow.

What an amazing gift from the Women's England Football Team team for Harper! Good luck to the team tomorrow in their first game against France.

– David Beckham


Beckham 'sickened' after Fifa misled him over World Cup bid

David Beckham has described Fifa's failings as "despicable, unacceptable and awful."

David Beckham was part of the England Fifa World Cup bid team with prince William in 2010. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The former England captain said he was left with a "sick feeling" after being misled by Fifa executive committee members who pledged their support for the FA's bid to host the 2018 World Cup, which was eventually awarded to Russia.

Some of the things that we now know happened were despicable, unacceptable and awful for the game we love so much.

Whilst it has not been good to read some of the headlines surrounding our sport recently, I hope at last we are now moving in the right direction.

Football is not owned by a few individuals at the top, it belongs to the millions of people around the world who love this sport.

It is time for Fifa to change and we should all welcome it.

– David Beckham statement

Russia wants to use convict labour to build World Cup

Russian president Putin sits with FIFA president Sepp Blatter Credit: REUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev

Russia intends to use prisoners to help build stadiums and infrastructure for the 2018 World Cup and bring costs down.

A bill drafted by a member of the ruling party, United Russia, with the backing of the country's prison service, would allow contractors to use convicts in their projects.

"It'll help in the sense that there will be the opportunity to acquire building materials for a lower price, lower than there is currently on the market," Alexander Khinshtein told The Associated Press.

The Russian government is currently under pressure for the event's projected cost of 640bn roubles (£8.2bn).

Under the plans, convicts would continue to live in prison, travelling to work each day. They would earn roughly £190 per month.

BBC journalists arrested on official visit to Qatar

A model of Al Rayyan Stadium, being built for the World Cup Credit: REUTERS/Mohammed Dabbous

A BBC news crew has been arrested in Qatar while on an official visit to the country.

The crew were among other members of the press invited to tour new workers' accommodation, following ongoing international outcry at the poor conditions faced by the men building infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup.

However, the crew found themselves arrested by Qatari security services, and jailed and aggressively interrogated for two days.

In an article for the BBC, Middle East business correspondent Mark Lobel spoke of "hostile" questioning.

He wrote: "Thirteen hours of waiting around and questioning later, one of the interrogators snapped. 'This is not Disneyland,' he barked. 'You can't stick your camera anywhere.'"

In a statement, the Qatari government said: "By trespassing on private property and running afoul of Qatari laws, the BBC reporter made himself the story. We sincerely hope that this was not his intention.

"Moreover, we deeply regret that he was unable to report the real story, which is that the government and the private sector are making significant progress in efforts to improve the lives and the labour conditions of guest workers in Qatar."

Greens call for England to boycott Qatar 2022 World Cup

England's football team should boycott the 2022 World Cup in Qatar in protest over the country's human rights record, the Green Party has said.

Leader Natalie Bennett added her voice to a growing chorus of calls for the team to refuse to take part in the Gulf state-hosted event, amid anger over the gay rights and the exploitation of workers, as well as alleged corruption during the bidding process.

Qatar delegates celebrate winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup bid Credit: PA

Homosexuality is banned in the country.

In an interview with the Gay Times, Ms Bennett was asked whether England should travel to Qatar.

Personally no, that's my personal opinion. I think there are so many issues around Qatar - gay rights issues, workers' rights issues.

– Natalie Bennett, Green Party

She also called for action to address the "cultural problem" of homosexuality in sports as a whole, with athletes only coming out as gay once they have finished competing.

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