Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has dismissed allegations of corruption in the awarding of the 2018 FIFA World Cup to Russia by telling journalists that "there's no criminality in Russia."
"There's no criminality, there's no criminality in Russia. In Russia bidding is open, there's no problem," Mutko told journalists in broken English, according to a video uploaded Thursday to YouTube.
Mutko was commenting on the ongoing corruption scandal at world football's governing body FIFA, which saw Swiss prosecutors this week open a criminal investigation into whether improper influence was used in the selection of Russia and Qatar to host the next two World Cups in 2018 and 2022.
Asked if he had been questioned in connection to the case, Mutko appears in the video to have misunderstood the question, answering: "In Russia, is small money." He also asks the journalists to speak in Russian when asked if there would be any arrests in Russia in relation to the scandal.
The Swiss-led investigation comes as U.S. prosecutors charged nine FIFA officials with bribery, leading President Vladimir Putin to accuse the United States of meddling abroad.
Watch the video of Mutko here: