England World Cup bid branded 'comical'
Published : 28 Oct 2010 07:30:29
England 2018 have been described as "absolutely primitive" and "comical" by a senior figure in Russian football over their World Cup bid tactics.
The comments by Viacheslav Koloskov, a former member of FIFA and UEFA's executive committees and adviser to the Russia bid, made to Russian sports website www.championat.ru and translated by a fluent Russian speaker working for ITV.com, come after England made a formal complaint to FIFA about their bid rivals' chief executive.
Koloskov, honorary president of the Russian Football Union, said: "It's a comical situation. The English are afraid of how badly their bid is going. Their journalists are provoking members of the committee, and they now say one of the members of our bidding team has spoken out against England in an improper manner."
He added: "I think it's a raising of tensions, and also an attempt to in some way influence the work of our bidding team.
"These acts have little chance of success. Russia should not be afraid of sanctions. There won't even be an investigation.
"The behaviour of the English is absolutely primitive. Instead of talking about their own excellence and merits, they try to put off their opponents."
England complained to FIFA that Alexei Sorokin, chief executive of Russia 2018, had highlighted London's "high crime rate" and youth alcohol problems in an interview that appeared to contravene FIFA's rules about talking about rival bidders.
FIFA confirmed on Wednesday they had received a complaint and said: "We have been in contact with the England and Russia bids in relation to this matter, which is currently pending."
It is understood the England bid team are seeking a formal apology from Sorokin for trying to denigrate their bid rather than expecting FIFA's ethics committee to deal with the case before the December 2 vote.
Sorokin said: "I will provide an explanation to FIFA but I do not feel that what I said originally requires an apology."