Russia somehow have three points, FIFA confirm
Although the World Cup has only just started with Brazil playing Croatia, Russia have three points to their name, raising some serious questions.
FIFA have confirmed that tables showing Russia top of Group H with three points yet no games played are accurate, but they have pledged to investigate.
For Russia the news comes as a massive boost in their bid to escape their group, which includes Belgium, Algeria and South Korea, all currently languishing on zero points.
“Russia do appear to have three points, but as yet we can’t say exactly where they got them from,” a FIFA spokesman told FourFourTwo.
“Maybe they’ve stockpiled them from other competitions, maybe they’ve got them on the black market - we know there’s a lucrative trade in points in parts of South America.
“We’ve asked Russia to launch an internal investigation and hope it’s as effective and transparent as FIFA’s own internal investigations usually are.”
Some experts believe thousands of points have simply fallen off the radar and could be responsible for teams like Greece qualifying for major championships despite having no obvious means of legitimately winning points.
The battle against point laundering stole the front pages last September when Moldova briefly appeared top of England’s World Cup qualification group. It later emerged that they had re-appropriated Eurovision Song Contest points.