By Duncan Mackay

Vitaly Mutko in front of Russia 2018 signFebruary 27 - Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has been re-elected as the country's representative on the FIFA Executive Committee, it has been announced.

Mutko, 54, was President of the Russian Football Union (RFU) from 2005 until 2009, when he joined FIFA's ruling Executive Committee. 

He played a leading role in Russia's successful bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, when they were controversially awarded the tournament ahead of England and joint bids from Belgium and the Netherlands and Portugal and Spain. 

"If Russia was not the host of the World Cup, I would possibly have not gone to this post," he said after the RFU approved him to continue the FIFA role, which he will combine with being the chairman of Russia 2018.

Mutko was Minister for Sports, Tourism and Youth Policy from 2008 until May 2012, when his portfolio was reduced to cover only sport.

In 2010 he was embarrassed when the Russian Parlaiment's Audit Chamber criticised him for claiming a total of 97 breakfasts at a total cost of $4,500 (£3,000/€3,500) during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where he stayed for 20 days. 

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