2 Dec 2010

Russian PM stays home before World Cup vote

6:31 am on 2 December 2010

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has decided not to attend tonight's World Cup football hosting decisions in Zurich, dealing a blow to his country's hopes of staging the finals in 2018.

Prime Minister Putin explained that he decided to stay at home out of respect for FIFA's executive members so they can make a decision calmly without any pressure from the outside.

Putin said FIFA's members had been subjected to a campaign of filth, and that Russia had faced "unscrupulous competition" in its bid to host the World Cup.