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August 29, 2014 AT 7:24 AM
President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he hoped Russia would not lose the right to host the 2018 soccer World Cup following Western calls to stop the country staging the tournament. Asked whether there was any risk that Russia could lose its right to hold the tournament due to the complicated political situation, Putin said: "I hope not. (World soccer's governing body) FIFA has already said soccer and sport are outside politics and I think that is the right approach." Senior FIFA members attending meetings in Monaco were unaware of Putin’s remarks when approached by Reuters, and could not comment. FIFA's media department was not immediately contactable.