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Blatter to defy FIFA ban to attend World Cup, meet Putin

Sepp Blatter due to defy ban and attend two World Cup matches and meet Russian President Vladimir Putin © AFP / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Jun 18Disgraced former FIFA chief Sepp Blatter will defy a ban to attend two World Cup matches and also meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, his spokesman said Monday.

Blatter is being investigated by Swiss prosecutors for alleged corruption during his 17-year reign at the head of FIFA.

The 82-year-old was suspended for six years by FIFA in February 2016 from any football-related activity over a 1.8-million-euro ($2mln) payment to Michel Platini.

Blatter was replaced at the head of FIFA by Gianni Infantino.

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 Russia.

Contacted by AFP, FIFA said it had no comment on Blatter’s trip, the Swiss national slated to fly to Moscow Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s Portugal-Morocco Group B match in the Russian capital.

He was also scheduled to attend Brazil’s Group E match against Costa Rica in St Petersburg on Friday before returning to Switzerland.

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