England to withdraw Russia 2018 complaint after apology
England last hosted the World Cup in 1966
England's 2018 World Cup bid team is to withdraw a complaint to Fifa about Russia's campaign following an apology from their rival bidder.
The Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko has apologised for comments made by bid chief Alexei Sorokin.
England's official complaint was that Russia had broken bidding rules when he made disparaging comments about London.
"Mr Mutko approached the bid team with a genuine apology in an honourable manner," said an England spokesman.
"We, of course, accepted this apology and appreciate the gesture. We now wish to move on from this matter."
Fifa's committee met on Thursday to receive reports on the bids.
The English bid team had complained on Tuesday that Sorokin highlighted London's "high crime rate" and youth alcohol problems in an interview with Russian media that appeared to contravene Fifa's rules about talking about rival bidders.
Mr Mutko approached the England 2018 bid team with a genuine apology in an honourable manner
England 2018 spokesperson
Tensions between the two bids then intensified after Viacheslav Koloskov, honorary president of the Russian Football Union, referred to
England's 2018 bid
as "absolutely primitive" and "comical".
But Sorokin admits he is happy to see a line drawn under the issue.
"I'm glad this whole thing is finally over to our mutual satisfaction and we can now proceed with our normal work," he said.
Aside from England and Russia's bids, Spain and Portugal have a joint bid on the table for 2018, as do Netherlands and Belgium.
Meanwhile, the 2022 World Cup hosts will be chosen from Australia, the United States, Qatar, Japan and South Korea.
The winning bids are set to be announced following a vote by the Fifa executive committee in Zurich on 2 December.
After England lodged their complaint with Fifa, Koloskov - who is not an official member of their bid team - had said it was a pointless gesture, before the apology from Mutko and subsequent withdrawal.
"There is no reason for Russia to fear sanctions," said Koloskov. "There won't even be an investigation.
"It's a comical situation. The English are afraid of how badly their bid is going. Instead of talking about their own advantages and merits, they try to disorient their rivals."
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