Reuters

FIFA won't block Sepp Blatter trip to 2018 World Cup

FIFA won't block Blatter trip to 2018 World Cup
By PA Sport

20/10/2017 at 15:56Updated 20/10/2017 at 17:11

FIFA will not stop Sepp Blatter from taking up an invitation to attend next summer's World Cup in Russia, providing he has no formal role.

The 81-year-old Swiss ran the sport's world governing body from 1998 to 2015, and voted in 2010 for Russia to be awarded the 2018 finals.

FIFA's corruption scandal forced him to resign in 2015 and later that year the organisation's ethics committee imposed an eight-year ban from the game which was reduced to six years on appeal.

The ban does not prevent him from attending games, though, so he will be able to accept Russian president Vladimir Putin's invitation to watch the World Cup, which starts in Moscow on June 14.

Blatter has already told reporters he intends to go and a FIFA spokesperson told Press Association Sport: "A long as he has no official function, this should be fine."

His former heir apparent at FIFA, Michel Platini, was in a similar position last year when European football's governing body UEFA and the organising committee invited him to attend the European Championship in France despite his four-year ban for receiving a corrupt payment from Blatter.

FIFA's ethics committee let it be known it had no objection to the Frenchman's presence at the games as long as he was not involved in any of the ceremonies. As it happened, Platini stayed away.

Blatter is still under investigation by the Swiss authorities for alleged criminal mismanagement at FIFA.

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