Former FIFA chief Blatter to attend World Cup on Wednesday

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Blatter shared the stage that day with Putin and could meet with the Russian president this week.

"With Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland they will be candidates I am sure".

Blatter, who led Federation Internationale de Football Association for 17 years, is serving a six-year ban from soccer for unethical conduct after the organisation was rocked by a global corruption scandal in 2015.

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The Swiss national was suspended for six years by Fifa in 2016 from football-related activities over a 1.8-million-euro ($2 million) payment to former UEFA chief Michel Platini.

Blatter told Reuters in March he had been invited to attend the World Cup by Putin, with whom he has a long-standing close relationship, and he was "honoured" to accept.

But nowhere is it more evident than at FIFA's official Fan Fests in this year's World Cup host country of Russian Federation. "I take the program they are offering to me, and I am happy to be here", he said.

Speaking in an interview with Russian news channel RT, Blatter said he had advocated for Russia to be chosen as the World Cup host in 2010.

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"This is what I introduced in 2011", said Blatter.

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

When asked how he had been occupying his time since the ban, Blatter said he was grappling with how to solve the problem of political intervention in world football.

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