Disgraced former FIFA President Sepp Blatter said he will be in Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in spite of a six-year ban from football-related activities, the AFP news agency reported on Friday.
Blatter was at the head of the world’s football governing body for 17 years, he was ousted in 2015 following a corruption scandal.
The FIFA ethics committee subsequently banned him from the sport for eight years, but the term was reduced to six years after an appeal.
By virtue of his ban, the 81 year old Swiss will have to wait till 2021 just a year before the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to engage in anything involving football.
The ban, however, has not deterred Blatter from planning a trip to Russia when the country hosts the World Cup next summer.
Blatter told AFP, “I will go to the World Cup in Russia,”.
“I received an invitation from President Putin.”
“I don’t know how long I will go for, whether I will be there for the opening match or the final,”
“Because I can’t work in football and I don’t have an assignment to do, maybe I will only make a short visit.”