Federation Internationale de Football Association applied pressure against Vitaly Mutko council ban - ex

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The former Portuguese Government Minister, controversially replaced as the chairman of the Governance Committee in May, claimed the Federation Internationale de Football Association secretary general Fatma Samoura warned him the move to bar Mutko from the Council would have a disastrous impact on Infantino's Presidency and the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino attempted to block a decision to ban Russian Deputy Prime Minister from standing for the governing body's ruling Council, axed Governance Committee chairman Miguel Maduro has claimed. But travel problems meant Maduro will answer questions from legislators on the culture, media and sport committee on Wednesday morning.

"I think that, ultimately, he chose to politically survive".

Fifa, he argued, is incapable of abiding by its own new anti-corruption structures and needs "outside pressure" to reform.

Maduro's mandate as the head of the Governance Committee was not renewed by the FIFA Council, despite his appointment being hailed as crucial to the fight against corruption.

"I was clearly told that declaring Mr Mutko ineligible would probably cost the presidency because the World Cup would be a disaster and as a effect the presidency would be put under question", Maduro added.

He added: "More than that, she said we needed to find a solution to declare Mr. Mutko eligible because otherwise the presidency itself would be in question, the World Cup would be a disaster, that was her view, and the continued presidency of Mr. Infantino would also be in question".

Maduro insisted banning Mutko was the right call and was "very clear" that the Governance Committee were following FIFA's rules. He said Infantino himself then responded by email to the committee upholding its conclusion.

"He [Infantino] expressed concerns about the impact of the decision [to ban Mutko] on the World Cup".

Infantino argued that they were misapplying Fifa's rules, Maduro told the committee, but said that he held firm and maintained that the decision was correct.

Maduro said Infantino believed there was "no evidence" that Mutko was involved in the Russian doping scandal.

"We were interested with the application of the rules, independently of the persons in question".

He said Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino "realised that if he wanted to survive politically, he had to choose to protect the independence of bodies, and therefore to keep us in place, or answer to his constituency".

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