Russian president Vladimir Putin has reiterated his belief that suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter deserves to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Blatter was handed a 90-day ban by FIFA’s Ethics Committee in October in relation to an alleged payment made by the organisation to former France captain Michel Platini in 2011.
The Swiss denied any wrongdoing ahead of a hearing headed by ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert getting underway in Zurich on Thursday.
Blatter certainly has a strong ally in Putin, who has praised the 79-year-old for the work carried out during his time at the helm of world football’s governing body.
“That is someone who should be given the Nobel Peace Prize,” Putin said of Blatter.
“His contribution to the global humanitarian sphere is colossal.
“Whether there are signs of corruption in FIFA, the investigation must show. As for Joseph Blatter, he is a very respected person, he has done a lot for the development of world soccer.”
Putin also affirmed that Russia won the right to host the 2018 World Cup in the correct manner.
“We know firmly one thing – that we received the right to host the World Cup in an absolutely honest and competitive fight,” he added.