Blatter arrives in Russian Federation for World Cup despite Fifa ban

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Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter has said that he believes Ireland and the United Kingdom should host the 2030 World Cup.

Blatter, who led Federation Internationale de Football Association for 17 years, is now serving a six-year ban for unethical conduct after soccer's world governing body was rocked by a global corruption scandal in 2015. "The former Federation Internationale de Football Association president has an open invite from Vladimir Putin to attend the tournament", BBC Sport correspondent Richard Conway posted on Twitter.

Blatter is slated to watch Wednesday's game between Portugal and Morocco in the Russian capital and might also attend Brazil's match against Costa Rica in Putin's native Saint Petersburg. "I take the program they are offering to me, and I am happy to be here", he said.

"I think that England deserved to organise the World Cup".

"When I arrived yesterday, I saw it a little bit, it's my World Cup".

Last year, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed the invitation, saying: "Putin has a long and, you may say, friendly relationship with Blatter".

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However, Blatter pointed out that the new "one person one vote" ballot system that resulted in the U.S., Canada and Mexico being chosen as joint hosts for the 2026 World Cup on the eve of this year's finals was one of his legacies.

He announced his intention to resign from FIFA days after American and Swiss federal prosecutors unsealed sweeping investigations in May 2015 of corruption and bribery linked to worldwide football and marketing officials, including some FIFA vice presidents.

More than 3,500 of the more than 10,000 counterfeit 2018 World Cup tickets available globally have been sold to Chinese football fans, according to Chinese media.

A Swiss criminal proceeding was opened against Blatter in September 2015 for alleged financial misconduct, but no charges have been made.

"This is what I introduced in 2011", said Blatter.

His presence in Moscow can be an awkward distraction for Federation Internationale de Football Association and its new president, Gianni Infantino, who comes from a neighbouring town in the same Swiss canon (state) as his predecessor.