Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says he will not fly to Zurich for the 2018 World Cup vote, to be held on Thursday.
Putin says he wants to avoid exerting any pressure on Fifa officials ahead of the vote. Analysts say Putin, who had been slated to speak on behalf of the bid, could be distancing himself from the Russian campaign because he does not want to be linked to a loser.
Putin made a high-profile trip to Guatemala in 2007 to help secure the 2014 Winter Olympics for Sochi, having announced that trip more than a week in advance.
England, Spain-Portugal and Belgium-Netherlands are also in the running for the 2018 World Cup. The vote will take place at the world football governing body's headquarters in Zurich.
On Tuesday Prince William, British Prime Minister David Cameron and David Beckham arrived in Zurich to help England's bid. They hope to limit the potential damage caused by a BBC television investigation that accused four Fifa voters of corruption.
US Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to join former President Bill Clinton on Wednesday to push the US bid for the 2022 tournament.
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