Blatter says England should host World Cup

Luzhniki Stadium

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With the World Cup flying in the face of predictions that it would be a doom and gloom affair, Russian President Vladimir Putin just couldn't resist trolling everyone - well, it is what he does best.

Suspended former Federation Internationale de Football Association president Sepp Blatter has arrived in Moscow for a World Cup visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The 82-year-old Blatter is banned from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. Using allegations from that case, FIFA's ethics committee opened its own case and banned him for eight years.

He was banned from all footballing activities for making a dishonest payment to ex-UEFA boss Michel Platini. Both men denied any wrongdoing.

Blatter, much to FIFA's obvious unease, attended Wednesday's Portugal-Morocco game at the Luzhniki Stadium and then had dinner with Putin and deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko in the head of state's Kremlin apartment.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday Blatter was visiting Russian Federation in a non-official capacity, and Blatter later said his meeting with Putin had not yet been confirmed. I am a personal guest here today.

Russian Federation beat Egypt 3-1 in St. Petersburg on Tuesday night to all but book a berth in the Round of 16, something the national team had failed to do in their previous three World Cup outings.

In an interview with Britain's Channel 4 News, Blatter said he had been invited to the World Cup by the Russian organizing committee and Federation Internationale de Football Association should respect his right to be at the tournament. "He should not be embarrassed because I am going to watch some matches", Blatter told reporters.

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Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter gestures during a press conference in Zurich in March.

"There have been no concrete agreements or understandings, and no specific discussions are being conducted now", the spokesman said at the time.

"OK, I cannot act like a president of Federation Internationale de Football Association, but a suspended player can go to the stadium or training - this is the same".

This is Blatter's first public appearance outside his native Switzerland since July 2015 when the World Cup qualifying draw took place in St. Petersburg.

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

"They will be candidates, I'm sure".

"I should have stopped after the 2014 World Cup which was a wonderful World Cup".

On Wednesday, he said that the tournament in Russia felt like "my World Cup", and on Thursday he said he would like to say "well done" to Infantino, his FIFA successor, for the World Cup so far, but added that FIFA should not be embarrassed by his presence there. Blatter's, though, might not be such a good idea.

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