John Bolton to Visit Moscow to Talk About Possible Trump-Putin Meeting

Speaking in front of the Kremlin against of backdrop of football fans queuing to visit Moscow's Red Square, Blatter said he had advocated Russian Federation be chosen as the World Cup host in 2010.

Asked if he would use the influence he built up during his 17-year reign as Federation Internationale de Football Association boss to support a British bid, he said: "OK, I will use my influence, if England will accept my influence".

Blatter said it was "respectful" to be invited to the Kremlin despite being suspended from football.

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Thursday he believes the World Cup should return to England when Europe next gets its turn to host the tournament.

In 2015, he was banned from "all football activities" for eight years, later reduced to six on appeal, over ethics breaches when he was found to have made a £1.3m "disloyal payment" to ex-Uefa boss Michel Platini.

Blatter told Reuters in March he had been invited to attend the World Cup by President Vladimir Putin, with whom he has a long-standing close relationship. Putin owed his old buddy one for so feverishly steering support among Fifa's congress for Russia's World Cup bid. "How I was received here, television, cameras, people, photographs, and so on", he said.

The voting process for those tournaments is now tainted by suspicions of corruption.

"If Fifa would have a little bit of respect knowing I have an official invitation to come here, they should have added an additional invitation to me, by saying, "OK, if you are coming on an official invitation, please be also our guest", this would be the respect". "And he has said 'OK, nothing.' So I don't think they are bothered", he said. "We spoke about football and the good start of the competition, the good start of the team".

Meanwhile, two Russian fans have been sentenced to 10 days' detention for swearing at police ahead of a World Cup game.

Thankfully, Blatter will be gone by the end of the week, and can stop pretending the World Cup is all about him.

  • Stacy Allen