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Mutko takes over Russian Football Union

(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

MOSCOW (AP) Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko took over control of the country's football association Wednesday ahead of the 2018 World Cup, with promises of government money for the sport.

The arrival of Mutko, who also oversees Russia's World Cup preparations, comes as Swiss prosecutors investigate alleged corruption in the bidding process for the 2018 tournament. Mutko has been a member of FIFA's executive committee since 2009 and played a leading role in Russia's winning bid.

Mutko was previously Russian Football Union president from 2005 until 2009 and takes over from Nikolai Tolstykh, who was ousted in May after disputes over the organization's debts.

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