Putin accuses US of meddling in FIFA, backs Blatter

Russian President Putin and Kuwait Sheikh Ahmad question motives behind FIFA corruption probe, support Blatter in election

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed United States for meddling with FIFA’s affairs and implied that the corruption probe is an attempt to take 2018 World Cup from Russia.

US Department of Justice indicted 14 people, including nine high ranking FIFA officials, on corruption charges, and Switzerland started a separate probe into awarding process of 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

"If anything happened, it did not happen on US territory and the United states has nothing to do with it," Putin said.

"This is yet another blatant attempt [by the United States] to extend its jurisdiction to other states."

Putin said they know FIFA President Sepp Blatter was pressured before “to force him to take the 2018 World Cup from Russia.”

“I am absolutely sure that this is an attempt to try and stop Blatter from being re-elected as FIFA president,” Putin said.

FIFA is to elect its president on Friday and four time incumbent Blatter is facing Jordanian Prince Ali bin Abdullah.

Another criticism to the corruption investigation came from Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah of Kuwait, head of the Association of National Olympic Committees, who questioned motivations behind the operations.

"Is it because they [the US] want to kill FIFA? Is it because they [US] didn't win the election?" Sheikh Ahmad said.

The US was a candidate to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup but lost the bid to Qatar.

He endorsed Blatter for the elections on Friday saying: “He is the best from the names we are seeing on the list.”

TRTWorld and agencies