Banned Sepp Blatter attends football match, says ‘It is my World Cup’

Dean Simpson
June 21, 2018

The one-time globe-trotting football leader, with a famed capacity to defy jet lag, has rarely flown in recent years since American and Swiss investigators unsealed sweeping investigations in May 2015 of corruption and bribery linked to global soccer and marketing officials, including some FIFA vice-presidents.

The 82-year-old led football's governing body for 15 years from 1998 to 2015, but resigned just after being elected for a fifth consecutive term, amid an ongoing corruption scandal at FIFA.

When asked if he has had contact with Putin since arriving, Blatter said: "No. you know that he invited me two years ago already, and here I am".


Speaking to Sky Sports News, Blatter said: "I think England, or Ireland, they deserve to organise the World Cup". "He should not be embarrassed because I am going to watch some matches", Blatter told reporters.

His appearance at the World Cup in Russian Federation 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 organization.

Given the Football Association's recent experiences of bidding for World Cups, they might be tempted to accept any help they are offered.


His appearance at the World Cup in Russian Federation is potentially embarrassing for FIFA and its new head, Gianni Infantino, who has promised to clean up the organisation. A National Security Council spokesperson tweeted that Bolton will first meet with U.S. allies in London and Rome to talk about national security issues, then head to Russian Federation "to discuss a potential meeting" between the two world leaders. Last week, using new rules under which all member states vote rather than a 24-member Executive Committee, the 2026 World Cup was awarded to the United States, Canada and Mexico, beating a bid from Morocco.

He claimed he has spoken to several senior figures in the game on the phone and they have welcomed him to the World Cup and said it was a "lost opportunity" on FIFA's part not to make "a little effort" on his behalf. It is a good start to the tournament, it's a good start for football, and it's a good start to promote this game to the millions of people who are directly or indirectly touched by the game.

Describe yourself in five emojis and get matched to another FIFA World Cup™ enthusiast - that summarises the FIFA Fan Match campaign.


Indeed, there are a lot of lessons to be learned from the World Cup.

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