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Russia plan squad purge for World Cup

Russia
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Real president denies Qatar link claims

FIFA president Sepp Blatter hit out at corruption claims against the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, describing them as "racist."

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has denied that he was in any way connected to the controversial awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

- Report: Qatar World Cup has high terror risk
- Michel Platini withdraws support for Blatter

Perez issued the denial after France Football alleged that he, former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell and Spanish FA (RFEF) chief Angel Maria Villar were involved in helping broker a behind-the-scenes voting deal between the Qataris and Spain.

According to El Pais, the France Football story alleges that Perez was interested in the issue because ACS, a construction company of which he is also president, could have benefited from the building of new stadiums or infrastructure in Qatar.

It also claims Rosell, who was closely involved in sealing the current commercial partnership between Barcelona and Qatar, had his own business interests in a deal being done.

Real released a statement saying Perez had not met anyone from Qatar to discuss the hosting of the tournament, and that legal action could be taken against France Football.

"Following the information published by the magazine France Football, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez would like to express the following," it said.

"It is absolutely false that there was a meeting in October 2009, or on any other date, with the delegation named in the report, nor with any other delegation, nor with the president of the Federacion Espanola de Futbol, nor with anybody in relation to Qatar's World Cup candidacy.

"Real Madrid and their president will take the legal action they consider appropriate against France Football and against the authors of the report."

Neither Barcelona nor Rosell, who is no longer associated with the Catalan club, having cut all official ties when he resigned as president in January 2014, have yet commented.

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