Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Vitaly Mutko steps down as head of Russian Football Union

Moscow: Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who has been banned for life from the Olympic Games over doping, on Wednesday stepped down as the head of the country's football federation.

 Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Vitaly Mutko steps down as head of Russian Football Union

File image of Vitaly Mutko. Reuters

The move was widely expected after Mutko announced last year he would temporarily step back from the Russian Football Union to concentrate on his role in government.

"Vitaly Mutko is leaving his post as president of the Russian Football Union," the organisation said in a tweet on its official account.

The position will be temporarily filled by Sergei Pryadkin, the head of the Russian Premier League, RFU committee member Igor Lebedev said on Twitter. A permanent president will be chosen at a meeting of the RFU in February, he added.

Mutko in December last year also left his position as chairman of Russia's 2018 World Cup organising committee, in the wake of his Olympic ban.

The International Olympic Committee at the end of last year banned Russia from competing in the 2018 Winter Games over its state-orchestrating doping programme.

Mutko, who was sports minister during the Russia-hosted previous Winter Olympics, was singled out.

But he has denied state involvement in doping and dismissed allegations as an attempt to tar his country as an "axis of evil."

Mutko last year was barred from sitting on the FIFA Council, the world body's ruling top table where the Russian sports official had a seat since 2009.

His participation was blocked because of potential conflicts of interest with his government role.

Updated Date: Dec 19, 2018 19:04:16 IST