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Russian World Cup Officials Say Bid Won Honestly

The Russian officials who successfully bid to host soccer's 2018 World Cup say they didn't know who would win until the results of the vote were announced.

Russian organizing committee head Aleksei Sorokin said in a statement on October 30 that his group "only learnt about the decision of the FIFA Executive Committee when it was made public on 2 December 2010."

He added that his committee officials were neither aware of or involved in discussions before the vote to fix the result.

Sorokin's comments come amid remarks by FIFA President Sepp Blatter twice this week that it had been agreed ahead of the vote that Russia would get the 2018 World Cup and the United States would be named as host of the 2022 edition of the tournament.

Sorokin said Russia was chosen because the Russian organizing committee presented a bid that "we believe was convincing and competitive."

Blatter has been suspended for 90 days by FIFA's ethics committee amid a corruption investigation.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP