Blatter accepts Putin invitation to 2018 World Cup

Sergio Conner
October 20, 2017

"As you know, Putin has long friendly relations with Blatter and he also knows Platini well".

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Russian Federation "would be glad" to see banned former soccer leaders Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini in Russian Federation next year at the World Cup.

Both former world football powerhouses were welcomed to the event by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

"I am certain that the 2018 World Cup will be a great World Cup".

Blatter, who is now banned from all football-related activity for six years following a "disloyal payments" scandal, claimed he was personally invited to attend the event by the Russian president and is considering attending the first match as well as the final.

Blatter's 17-year spell in charge of world football's governing body ended amid a corruption scandal in 2015.

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The 81-year-old was invited by Putin on Friday, and, despite now serving a reduced six-year ban from football, has accepted the Russian's invitation.

'I don't know how long I will go for, whether I will be there for the opening match or the final.

Blatter is also still under investigation in Switzerland over allegations into his "criminal mismanagement" of Federation Internationale de Football Association, if you can even fathom such a thing.

As I can't work in football anymore, and as I don't have any mission to accomplish, I may just pay a flying visit.

"I'm sure that World Cup 2018 will be a great World Cup. It's a big challenge", he said.

Platini, banned from football for four years, was allowed to attend Euro 2016 matches in his native France, provided he played no official role.

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