MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the World Cup draw (all times local):
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko says "there is no proof" of a state-backed doping system in the country, despite an Olympic judging panel this week detailing why it believed there was an organized conspiracy at the 2014 Sochi Games.
Mutko gave a defiant answer of about 12 minutes when asked if the soccer World Cup could be affected by an International Olympic Committee decision on Tuesday which could ban Russia from the Pyeongchang Games in February.
Mutko, who is the head of the World Cup organizing committee, says "we hope common sense will prevail."
He also insisted the IOC "cannot dictate" what positions individual people hold in member countries.
In July 2016, the IOC banned Mutko, then Russia's sports minister, from attending the Rio de Janeiro Olympics when a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation detailed orchestrated cheating at the Sochi Games.
Mutko was further implicated this week when extracts were published from the diaries of the former director of Russia's anti-doping laboratories. The IOC judging panel said it believed the diaries were "significant" evidence.
Joining Mutko at a news conference on Friday, FIFA President Gianni Infantino says he is "very relaxed" about next week's IOC executive board meeting.
Officials from the 32 World Cup teams have gathered in Moscow to find out who will play who at next year's tournament in Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to appear at the draw ceremony, which will take place Friday at the State Kremlin Palace.
The draw will be presided over by former England striker Gary Lineker, who has previously called for FIFA to be disbanded over bribery scandals and questioned Russia's legitimacy to host the World Cup.
The 32 finalists will be split into eight groups of four teams. Only Europe can have two teams in the same group.
Russia will play the opening game on June 14. The final will be held on July 15.