Vitaly Mutko returns to Russian Football Union

After stepping away from the Russian Football Union following an IOC ban, Vitaly Mutko returned to the RFU executive committee this week.

Vitaly Mutko returned to Russian Football Union after stepping aside.   -  Getty Images

The Russian Football Union (RFU) has confirmed Vitaly Mutko was present at its executive committee meeting this week, having stepped aside from his role as president late last year.

Mutko, the country's deputy prime minister under Vladimir Putin, took a temporary break from his duties with the RFU after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) handed down a lifetime ban from the Olympics.

Having been accused of being involved in state-sponsored doping - allegations he denied - Mutko confirmed he would stand down from his role as RFU president for a period of up to six months while he contested the IOC ban.

That move was welcomed by FIFA as Russia prepared to host this year's World Cup finals, and the RFU confirmed via a short statement on its website that Mutko was in attendance for Wednesday's meeting at which the board confirmed its backing for Gianni Infantino's bid to stay on as FIFA president in next year's elections.

"On Wednesday, November 21, an extended meeting of the Bureau of the RFU Executive Committee took place in Moscow, including with the participation of V.L. Mutko," the statement read.

"At a meeting of the Bureau of the Executive Committee, it was decided to submit (support), guided by the provisions of the FIFA Constitution, as well as Articles 29 and 31 of the RFU Charter, the candidacy of Gianni Infantino for the FIFA President (election in 2019)."

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