Banned Blatter arrives in Russian Federation for World Cup

Fisht Stadium

Disgraced former Federation Internationale de Football Association boss Sepp Blatter defied a ban to attend World Cup matches and arrived in Russia on Tuesday at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin.

The Swiss was in charge of football's global governing body at the time Russian Federation was awarded the tournament in December 2010, before his reign ended amid a corruption scandal involving FIFA.

Serbia's fans cheer at the FIFA World Cup Fan Fest in Saint Petersburg, Russia on June 17, 2018.

"I'm here to enjoy the World Cup", Blatter told reporters before stepping inside a luxurious Moscow hotel.

Russian Federation defied critics and confounded expectation by easing past Egypt 3-1 on Tuesday, all but assuring their place in the last 16 of a World Cup for the first time since the Soviet era.

Former Fifa spokesman Thomas Renggli told AFP that Blatter would meet Putin on Wednesday. However, Putin managed to visit the opening match of the 2018 world Cup, in which Saudi Arabia national team on football lost to Russian players with the devastating account 0:5.

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.

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

"I think that England or Ireland deserve to organise the World Cup", Blatter said. "But the elections should be made by secret ballot, this is also in the statutes of Federation Internationale de Football Association and the regulations and you should not announce who votes for whom", Blatter said. They (England) have had it in '66 so it is a long time ago.

"I have known Blatter since 1980". "How I was received here, television, cameras, people photographs and so on", he said in the interview filmed in front of the Kremlin.

"All of Ireland together!"

The former Federation Internationale de Football Association president landed in Moscow to fulfil a two-year-old invitation from the host nation's leader. "I said why not Ireland?"

When asked how if he was banned he could attend the World Cup the former chief quickly responded.

"We haven't seen each other for two and a half years", he said.

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