Germany urges FIFA to ensure doping expert gets Russia visa

BERLIN (AP) — German officials are calling on the global soccer federation FIFA to intervene after a journalist who exposed systematic doping in Russian athletics was denied entry to Russia to report on the upcoming World Cup.

Dagmar Freitag, who chairs the German Parliament’s sports committee, said the cancellation of Hajo Seppelt’s visa was “not just completely unjustified but pretty scandalous.”

Freitag told German news agency dpa Saturday she was “anxious to see how (FIFA chief Gianni) Infantino reacts to this” given that FIFA had already confirmed its accreditation for Seppelt, who works for public broadcaster ARD.

Reinhard Grindel, head of the German soccer federation, also noted FIFA’s pledge to uphold press freedom. He told dpa he had “full confidence FIFA will use its influence so Mr. Seppelt can report unhindered from Russia.”