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Listen To How Badly Russia’s Top Sports Official Speaks English [VIDEO]

Listen To How Badly Russia’s Top Sports Official Speaks English [VIDEO]

Vitaly Mutko is Russia’s Minister of Sport, Tourism and Youth. You’d think that dealing with FIFA, the infamously corrupt soccer organization, means he speaks pretty good English.

You’d be wrong.

Back in 2010, he gave a speech that helped Russia win hosting duties for the 2018 World Cup, insisting that he would “speak from my heart, in English.” According to FIFA’s organizing statute, “ English is the official language for minutes, correspondence and announcements.”

Russia ultimately won the bid, though the process was widely criticized for bribery and corruption.

Though reading from a script, his incredibly thick Russian accent drew criticism from the Russian public, who said their country deserved better representation on the world stage. The top comment on one YouTube video of the speech sarcastically thanks Mutko, saying that “foreigners are finally convinced that all Russians speak English just like in the movies.”

But speaking to reporters last Thursday in the wake of 14 FIFA officials’ indictments on corruption charges, Mutko had no script to save him. (RELATED: Everything You Need To Know About FIFA And The World’s Biggest Sports Scandal)

The result was spectacular.

WATCH:

Mutko made an initial statement that Russia’s 2018 plans were going at a “very good temp” — borrowing the Russian word for a good “pace” — and that “there’s no criminality in Russia.” He then replied to further questions by smiling, asking, “Please question to me the Russian,” and laughing.

Then, Mutko apparently said the following:

“Tomorrow? Nu… tomorrow meeting budet Yevro Association. Mozhet budet recommendation, nationalization the Yevro. Maybe the situation is… eeeh… Problem is what is speech is Mr. Blatter and is Mr. Ali situation is, uh, dangerous is.”

Got all that?

At one point, Mutko seems to be simply slotting English nouns into an otherwise Russian sentence, apparently saying, “Well, tomorrow the Euro Association will have a meeting. They may have a recommendation about nationalizing Euro.” And while “Mr. Ali” refers to Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Hussein, a challenger to Sepp Blatter’s presidency of FIFA, it is unclear how the situation is “dangerous.”

A source familiar with international soccer suggested to The Daily Caller News Foundation that Mutko was conjecturing about UEFA, the European branch of FIFA, making a “potential break away from FIFA,” or that “UEFA had threatened to boycott the FIFA meeting” that was held on Friday, at which Blatter won a fifth term as president before announcing his resignation on Tuesday. (RELATED: Newly-Elected FIFA President Steps Down Amid Corruption Scandal)

Or else, “I think he was talking about the FIFA meeting itself,” said TheDCNF’s source, admitting that the speech “makes no sense.”

Russian media quickly reached Mutko’s English teacher, Dmitri Petrov, for comment. In an interview with the “Komsomolskaya Pravda” radio station, Petrov gave the Russian minister a “five for courage” (Russian grading standards’ equivalent of an A), praising him for the “interactivity” of his English exchange.

Mutko also oversaw Russia’s hosting of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, where the English slogan was the widely mocked “Hot. Cool. Yours.” On the other hand, the Russian slogan “Zharkiye. Zimniye. Tvoyi.” makes it clear that its subject is plural — that is, the Olympic Games — and calls them “fiery” and “wintry” rather than “hot” and “cool.”

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.



 

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