Putin welcomes soccer world to kremlin for world cup draw

Putin welcomes soccer world to kremlin for world cup draw

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Putin welcomes soccer world to kremlin for world cup draw
MOSCOW –  Vladimir Putin welcomes soccer luminaries to the Kremlin on Friday for a World Cup draw that provides a global audience for the Russian president to attempt to burnish the image of a country scandalized by sports corruption. By staging the ceremony for the 32 World Cup finalists at the seat of Russian power and draping the Kremlin in FIFA branding, soccers governing body is undercutting its pretense that sports and politics should not mix — and in a country where the association has proved so damaging. FIFA is on the final countdown to the first World Cup in Russia as it continues to assess the extent the 2014 World Cup squad was embroiled in the countrys statesponsored doping scheme. FIFA President Gianni Infantino still plans to share a stage Friday with Vitaly Mutko, the Russian deputy prime minister accused of overseeing the elaborate scheme that saw positive samples across Russian sports destroyed or hidden. Infantino, though, is still trying to rebuild FIFAs image after…