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Banned Fifa chief Blatter attends match: ‘It’s my World Cup’
#1
[Image: 2018-06-20T153517Z_288107197_UP1EE6K17AS...LATTER.JPG]

MOSCOW, June 20 — Banned former Fifa president Sepp Blatter attended mansion88 a World Cup match in Moscow today and said the football tournament was a bit like “my World Cup” because of the warm welcome he had received in Russia. Blatter, who led Fifa for 17 years, is serving a six-year ban from “all football activities” for unethical conduct after football’s world governing body was rocked by a global corruption scandal in 2015.

His appearance at the World Cup in Russia is potentially embarrassing for Fifa and its new head, Gianni Infantino, who has promised to draw a line under Fifa’s corruption problems and clean up the organisation. TASS news agency quoted Alexei Sorokin, head of the Russia-2018 organising committee, as saying he had seen Infantino and Blatter at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium watching Portugal’s 1-0 win over Morocco.

“Today I saw Infantino and Blatter at the stadium, it’s true,” TASS quoted Sorokin as saying, adding that the former Fifa head had praised Russia’s organisation of the World Cup. Speaking in an interview with Russian news channel RT, Blatter said he had advocated for Russia to be chosen as the World Cup host in 2010. “When I arrived yesterday, I saw it a little bit, it’s my World Cup. How I was received here, television, cameras, people m88 sportsbook photographs and so on,” he said in the interview filmed in front of the Kremlin.

Blatter told Reuters in March he had been invited to attend the World Cup by President Vladimir Putin, with whom he has a long-standing close relationship. A spokesman for Blatter said he was scheduled to meet with the Russian leader while in Moscow. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters today Blatter was visiting Russia in a non-official capacity.

“Any meetings that could be held are being realised in the framework of his private m88 promotion visit and are not official,” he said when asked if Blatter has met or would meet Putin. Blatter’s ban was imposed shortly after the Swiss attorney general’s office began criminal proceedings against him on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation.

No charges have yet been brought and Blatter has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.The 82-year-old struck a defiant tone in Moscow, describing the criminal probe as “an attack on Fifa” and saying he was still president of the organisation. “I was suspended, I’m still a suspended president. I’m still president, but suspended,” he said. “It was not an easy time for me, it’s still not the easiest time.”
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