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Blatter, ex-FIFA president, meets Russia's Putin at World Cup

One Likely Winner of the FIFA World Cup? Putin

Despite being banned from all football-related activity for another three and a half years, there Blatter was watching Ronaldo light up the Luzhniki Stadium with his fourth goal of the tournament.

Blatter has arrived in Moscow to attend matches at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin despite being banned from the game for alleged corruption during his 17 years at the head of world football.

"I don't think they are embarrassed I'm here - they knew I was invited by the head of state and the two presidents (Putin and his successor at FIFA, Gianni Infantino) spoke about it", said Blatter.

He claimed he has spoken to several senior figures in the game on the phone and they have welcomed him to the World Cup and said it was a "lost opportunity" on FIFA's part not to make "a little effort" on his behalf.

Earlier on June 21, Russia's Interfax news agency quoted sources in Washington as saying that Bolton was expected to come to travel to Moscow next week to prepare for a possible meeting of Putin and his USA counterpart, Donald Trump.

Blatter's presence in Russian Federation is awkward and a little embarrassing for sport's new leadership trying to rebuild its reputation after corruption-scarred years.

Blatter, however, suggested Federation Internationale de Football Association was not troubled by his five-day visit - his first public appearance outside Switzerland since a July 2015 trip to St. Petersburg for the World Cup qualifying draw.

"It is good to be a fan", Blatter said before posing for photographs with the laminated Fan ID card.

The 82-year-old struck a defiant tone in Moscow, describing the criminal probe as "an attack on FIFA" and saying he was still president of the organization.

Russian Federation got the World Cup off to a thrilling start when it wowed crowds with a 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in the curtain-raising game on June 14, before tournament favourites like Argentina and Brazil failed to register a win. "Of course the president was also happy", Peskov said.

The Kremlin has said USA national security adviser John Bolton plans to visit Moscow, without providing details about the trip.