England’s 2018 World Cup bid team has withdrawn a complaint to FIFA about Russia’s campaign following an apology from their rival bidder.
The Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko has apologised for comments made by bid chief Alexei Sorokin.
England’s complained that Russia had broken bidding rules when he made disparaging comments about London.
“Mr Mutko approached the bid team with a genuine apology in an honourable manner,” said an England spokesman.
“We, of course, accepted this apology and appreciate the gesture. We now wish to move on from this matter.”
FIFA’s committee met on Thursday to receive reports on the bids.
The English bid team had complained after Sorokin highlighted London’s “high crime rate” and alcohol problems among young people in an interview with Russian media that appeared to contravene Fifa’s rules about talking about rival bidders.
Tensions between the two bids then intensified after Viacheslav Koloskov, honorary president of the Russian Football Union, described England’s 2018 attempt to solicit an apology as “comical”.
But Sorokin admits he is happy to see a line drawn under the issue.
“I’m glad this whole thing is finally over to our mutual satisfaction and we can now proceed with our normal work,” he said.
Other that England and Russia’s bids, Spain and Portugal have a joint bid on the table for 2018, as do Netherlands and Belgium.
Meanwhile, the 2022 World Cup hosts will be chosen from Australia, the United States, Qatar, Japan and South Korea.
The winning bids are set to be announced following a vote by the FIFA executive committee in Zurich on 2 December.
Its committee will be missing two of its 24 members in Zurich, with Nigerian Amos Adamu and Tahiti’s Reynald Temarii both under investigation for allegedly offering to sell their votes.