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September 02, 2014 22:46

Idea of suspending Russia's UEFA, FIFA membership has no prospects - Russian sports minister

MOSCOW. Sept 2 (Sport Express/Interfax) - Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko believes Russia cannot be expelled from either the international federation of association football, FIFA, or from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

"The international football federation and the European football federation are non-governmental organizations. The European Union is comprised only of certain countries of Europe, not to mention the world. Therefore, I think this has no prospects," Mutko told Interfax on Tuesday in commenting on reports that a number of European Union members proposed that Russia's UEFA and FIFA membership be suspended.

"As a member of the FIFA Executive Committee, I can say that this is not the first and not the last such instance. We are not the only country in relation to which politicians have tried to use international sports institutions for these purposes. In principle, these steps are inefficient, and international sports organizations will never resort to this. I don't see prospects and decisions based on which [Russia] can be deprived" of its FIFA and UEFA membership, he said.

"What do our national teams and our clubs playing in European tournaments have to do with this? This is absolutely against sports principles. Sport is beyond politics. On the contrary, it lifts borders when there is such a complicated political situation," Mutko said.

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(Our editorial staff can be reached at eng.editors@interfax.ru)

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