Russian president Vladimir Putin is one of the most powerful men in the world and he has recently come out in support of FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
The support given to Blatter is widely seen as a gratitude for giving Russia the opportunity to hold the World Cup 2018 competition. The tournament returns to Europe for the first time since 2006. However, there have been various allegations of corruption with regard to the bids for 2018 and 2022. The latter has been won by Qatar and it still remains doubtful as to whether the competition will be held in the Middle East.
Putin, though, has claimed that he does not believe in the corruption allegations that have been thrown up against Sepp Blatter. In fact, he has recommended him for the Nobel Peace Prize for the work he has done in football. Since the Swiss became the FIFA president for the first time in 1998, the game has gone from being popular in South America and Europe to becoming a truly world sport. It is now the most popular across all countries, while the game has also grown in magnitude with regard to under 20s level. It has also succeeded in incorporating and making popular the women’s game too.
“We all know the situation developing around Mr Blatter right now. I don’t want to go into details but I don’t believe a word about him being involved in corruption personally. I think people like Mr Blatter or the heads of big international sporting federations, or the Olympic Games, deserve special recognition. If there is anyone who deserves the Nobel prize, it’s those people. The way there is this fight against corruption makes me wonder if it isn’t a continuation of the bids for 2018 and 2022,” said Putin ahead of the World Cup 2018 qualification draw.