Monday, 16 July, 2018

Blatter arrives in Russian Federation for World Cup despite Fifa ban

Over 1 mln people attend World Cup fan festival in Russia - Xinhua | English.news.cn Around 100,000 Chinese to attend 2018 World Cup in Russia
Betsy Taylor | 21 June, 2018, 19:52

Federation Internationale de Football Association has declined comment on details of Blatter's visit, saying it took note of his arrival.

Blatter, much to FIFA's obvious unease, attended Wednesday's Portugal-Morocco game at the Luzhniki Stadium and then had dinner with Putin and deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko in the head of state's Kremlin apartment.

No charges have yet been brought and Blatter has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

The two men developed a close relationship after Fifa's disputed decision in 2010 to award this year's tournament to Russian Federation instead of England.

"I just saw him and said I have to take a picture with him", Mexico fan Maximiliano Vazquez said after taking a photograph with Blatter.

It was a chance to give his image a makeover, just like Blatter enabled Putin to do with Russian Federation by awarding him the World Cup.

"If Fifa would have a little bit of respect knowing I have an official invitation to come here, they should have added an additional invitation to me, by saying, "OK, if you are coming on an official invitation, please be also our guest", this would be the respect".


The ban on Blatter from "all football activities" was imposed shortly after the Swiss attorney general's office began criminal proceedings against him on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation.

"OK, I cannot act like a president of Federation Internationale de Football Association, but a suspended player can go to the stadium or training - this is the same. I'm still president, but suspended", he told Russian news channel RT.

To celebrate the beginning of the World Cup, a Chandigarh Physical Education teacher, Balraj Singh, carved out a miniature sculpture of the FIFA World Cup trophy here.

I think that every time he comes on the world stage, he is under pressure to perform.

At the two most recent World Cups in 2010 and 2014, fewer than 10,000 Chinese fans attended.

I spoke with one of your colleagues at the Associated Press, he said that with Wales and Scotland together [England should submit a bid]. "But in the past, we have seen that there is political intervention for football". "Football should help, perhaps, to solve political problems", he said.

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