Sepp Blatter deserves Nobel Prize – Putin
Russia President Vladimir Putin has said that FIFA President Sepp Blatter deserves a Nobel Prize for his work leading the world soccer’s governing body.
Putin was speaking in an interview with Swiss broadcaster RTS released on Monday, two days after he and Blatter met in St Petersburg for the preliminary draw for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“I think people like Mr Blatter, leaders of international sports federations or Olympic committees deserve special recognition,” Putin told RTS. “If anyone deserves the Nobel Prize, those people do.”
Putin’s remarks seem like a hit at the US and other agencies currently investigating allegations of corruption in FIFA, a body that Blatter headed for 17 years.
Meanwhile, FIFA has passed a resolution offering full support for holding the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Blatter said on Saturday after meeting Russia’s president.
“I would like to inform you that the executive committee has recently adopted a new resolution in which FIFA assures the Russian Federation of its full support in carrying out the World Cup in Russia in 2018.”
Blatter announced that he would be quitting in June after a major bribery scandal being investigated by the US, Swiss and other law enforcement agencies that plunged the soccer governing body into the worst crisis in its 111-year history.
The scandal has cast a cloud over the forthcoming World Cups in Russia and Qatar, but Russian officials have dismissed any suggestion that Russia could be stripped of the chance to host the World Cup.