Vladimir Putin to welcome Sepp Blatter as guest for two World Cup games
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow on Tuesday to watch two World Cup games as a guest of Russian President Vladimir Putin, his spokesman told ESPN Brasil.
Blatter, who led FIFA for 17 years, will attend the game between Portugal and Morocco at the Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday, then travel to St. Petersburg to watch Brazil face Costa Rica at the Krestovsky Stadium.
The former president of world soccer's governing body FIFA, said he was in Moscow "to enjoy the World Cup". Blatter walked into a hotel lobby in central Moscow and spoke briefly to reporters before he was surrounded by soccer fans who wanted to shake his hand and take selfies alongside him.
He is serving a six-year ban for unethical conduct after the organisation was rocked by a global corruption scandal in 2015.
The ban was imposed shortly after the Swiss attorney general's office began criminal proceedings against Blatter on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation. No charges have yet been brought, and Blatter has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
His appearance at the World Cup is potentially embarrassing for FIFA and its new head, Gianni Infantino, who has promised to clean up FIFA's corruption problems.
Blatter said in March he had been invited to attend the World Cup by Putin, with whom he has a long-standing relationship, and he was "honoured" to accept.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.