Every member of Russia's 2014 team has been deemed a 'person of interest'. Getty


  • 34 Russian footballers, including the 23 that travelled to Brazil in 2014, are 'people of interest'.
  • Fifa has confirmed they are investigating allegations made against the Russian players.

Every member of Russia's 2014 World Cup team is now being investigated by Fifa following fresh allegations of state-sponsored doping.

A report in the Mail on Sunday claims all 23 players who went out of the competition at the group stages in Brazil three years are among the 34 Russian footballers who are now "people of interest" in reports commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Authority [Wada].

Over 1000 athletes across 30 sports are still being looked into, according to the newspaper.

Fifa has confirmed they are looking into the claims. "Fifa is still investigating the allegations made against [Russian] football players," a spokesman from world football's governing body told the Mail.

Russia, hosts of next summer's 2018 World Cup, are also currently hosting the Confederations Cup with five members of that 2014 team - Igor Akinfeev, Denis Glushakov, Maksim Kanunnikov, Aleksandr Samedov and Yuri Zhirkov – all part of the squad that was eliminated from the competition by Mexico on Saturday.

The report states Fifa are now in possession of detailed evidence and will face pressure to take action, with Russia's suitability to host next summer's competition under more scrutiny than ever.

Dick Pound, the former head of Wada, told the Mail on Sunday: "There is a huge onus on Fifa to reach a sensible conclusion on these matters before the World Cup takes place. It is incumbent on them to say what steps they are taking, what they find, and take whatever action necessary to protect the integrity of sport. Even within a governing body with as little credibility remaining as Fifa, if you were a senior official you wouldn't want to be part of a body that ignores this.

"There has been an institutional denial of doping in football for years ... I've seen too many presentations by Fifa, straight out of fantasy land, about how they don't have a problem. They absolutely have to take this case seriously."

This is the first time the country's elite footballers have been placed under investigation but Russian sport has been engulfed in crisis for some time with calls for bans across other sports growing louder following the July 2016 publication of the McLaren report, a Wada-led investigation which supported claims of widespread "state-sponsored doping."

Following the report's release, Russia's track and field athletes were barred from competing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), a ban that was initially handed down in November 2015.

The ban was subsequently extended in February, meaning Russia will have no representation at this summer's World Athletics Championships in London.