Mutko resigns as president of Russian soccer federation

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              FILE - In this Tuesday, April 25, 2017 file photo, Russia's deputy prime minister in charge of sport, tourism and youth policies Vitaly Mutko attends a news conference after the Russia 2018 LOC Board meeting with FIFA participation in St. Petersburg, Russia. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who was banned from the Olympics for life because of the country's doping scandals, resigned Wednesday Dec. 19, 2018, as president of the Russian Football Union. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, File)
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MOSCOW (AP) — Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who was banned from the Olympics for life because of the country’s doping scandals, has resigned as president of the Russian Football Union.

The RFU says Mutko stepped down during Wednesday’s executive committee meeting. Russian soccer league president Sergey Pryadkin will serve as the RFU’s acting president until its conference in February.

Mutko played a leading role in Russia’s bid to host this year’s World Cup and was in charge of the country’s preparations for several years.

Last year, he stepped down temporarily as RFU president after the International Olympic Committee imposed the lifetime ban. But Mutko still remained closely linked with Russian soccer and attended national team training.