Banned Blatter arrives in Russian Federation for World Cup

Elias Hubbard
June 20, 2018

Blatter was replaced at the head of Federation Internationale de Football Association by Gianni Infantino.

Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter gestures during an interview with Reuters in Zurich, Switzerland April 10, 2018. The 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup kicked off at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, where 32 nations, divided into eight groups are fighting it out for the coveted trophy in the month-long event.

'I'm not here to comment the game.

Blatter posed for photographs with fans from Mexico and Portugal on his arrival at a five-star downtown hotel.

Putin will be at Portugal vs. Morocco on Wednesday and then Brazil vs. Costa Rica on Friday. The Switzerland native is expected to fly to Moscow and serve as a guest of Russian Federation president Vladimir Putin for two matches, his spokesman told ESPN Brazil.

Despite his ban, Blatter has on several occasions said he would respond favourably to an invitation from Putin to come and see the World Cup in Russian Federation.

The Swiss was in charge of football's global governing body at the time Russian Federation was awarded the tournament in December 2010, before his reign ended amid a corruption scandal involving FIFA.

Don't miss a moment of the World Cup!

Blatter announced his intention to resign from FIFA days after American and Swiss federal prosecutors unsealed sweeping investigations of corruption and bribery linked to global football and marketing officials, including some FIFA vice presidents, in May 2015.

A Swiss criminal proceeding was opened against Blatter in September 2015 for alleged financial misconduct.

The 82-year old is a special guest of Vladimir Putin despite his current suspension for corruption. It was reduced to six by FIFA's appeals panel. No charges have yet been brought and Blatter has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Banned former Federation Internationale de Football Association president Sepp Blatter will fly to Moscow on Tuesday, his spokesman told Reuters.

As FIFA's CEO-general secretary, Blatter oversaw preparations for each World Cup from 1982 to 1998.

The verdict ended Blatter's hopes of becoming honorary president of football's governing body which he left in disgrace.

Blatter remains an instantly recognizable, if often polarizing, figure to generations of football fans. "I have known Blatter since 1980".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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