Sepp Blatter backs Ireland and the United Kingdom to host 2030 World Cup

One Likely Winner of the FIFA World Cup? Putin

Blatter - who is serving a six-year ban from all football-related activity - is at the World Cup in Russian Federation as a guest of Vladimir Putin.

Over one million people have attended the 2018 FIFA World Cup fan festival in the 11 Russian host cities over the first four days of the tournament, FIFA said on Sunday.

The 82-year-old is now serving a six-year ban for unethical conduct after Federation Internationale de Football Association was rocked by a global corruption scandal in 2015.

A spokesperson for the 82-year-old Swiss on Monday told dpa Blatter was planning to fly to Moscow on Tuesday ahead of the game.

"It is good for me because when I came back, I had the impression that it is my World Cup", he said.

The Swiss was in charge of football's global governing body at the time Russian Federation was awarded the tournament before his reign ended amid a corruption scandal involving FIFA.

As FIFA's CEO-general secretary, Blatter oversaw preparations for each World Cup from 1982 to 1998.

Blatter was replaced at the head of Federation Internationale de Football Association by Gianni Infantino.

He was also scheduled to attend Brazil's Group E match against Costa Rica in St Petersburg on Friday before returning to Switzerland.

Last year, Peskov confirmed the invitation, saying: 'Putin has a long and, you may say, friendly relationship with Blatter'.

"I have been actively involved in 10 World Cups and this time I am only a guest".

No charges have yet been brought and Blatter has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. It was reduced to six by FIFA's appeals panel.

Former Fifa spokesman Thomas Renggli told AFP that Blatter would meet Putin on Wednesday.

Blatter remains an instantly recognizable, if often polarizing, figure to generations of football fans.

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