Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, suspended from the sport for ethics violations as part of a corruption scandal that engulfed the organisation, has again said he’ll be in Russia for the 2018 World Cup.
The Swiss football administrator, who, last October, stated that he has accepted an invitation from Russia President Vladimir Putin to attend the World Cup, has once again reiterated, “I’m honoured and I have accepted.”
Blatter’s 17-year spell in charge of world football’s governing body ended amid a corruption scandal in 2015, at a time that the Swiss attorney-general’s office began criminal proceedings against him on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation.
No charges have yet been brought as the Swiss government had said that such investigations can take several years, but Mr. Blatter has denied any wrongdoing.
Fifa subsequently banned Blatter from the sport for eight years, a term that was later reduced to six years after he appealed.
But speaking recently to reporters, Blatter expressed his disappointment, saying: “It is now two and a half years. This file has not moved.”
He added that he is thinking of asking the ethics committee to reopen his case, as he hopes to be free from his suspension before the World Cup begins in June.
“I am looking to have a solution also from the FIFA ethics committee to lift the suspension, which is a nonsense,” he said.
“I am also trying to see how we can change it. I hope to have a solution in the next three months before we open the World Cup in Russia.”
Blatter further confirmed that he had been invited by President Putin to attend the global showpiece, to which he said: “I’m honoured and I have accepted.”