Brussels/Madrid, Dec 19 (IANS) World football governing body FIFA’s president Gianni Infantino on Monday opposed boycotting the 2018 football World Cup in Russia, which is accused of establishing an institutional doping system for elite athletes.
In an interview published on Monday by the investigative journalism network EIC which includes, among others, the Spanish El Mundo and the German Der Spiegel, Infantino said there are people in Russia and Qatar who love soccer, and boycotts and exclusions are never the solution, reports Efe.
Infantino stressed that FIFA is not the world’s anti-doping authority, recalling that the disciplinary bodies of the organisation are analysing the report prepared by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
WADA has accused Russia of doping in several sports, including soccer, athletics, swimming and winter sports, and after the publication of the report several Russian athletes were excluded from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Infantino added that FIFA will carry out anti-doping tests for the World Cup in Russia and not Russian authorities.