Russian Sports Minister, Vitaly Mutko, has disclosed the country’s willingness to invite former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini to the 2018 World Cup finals.
Messrs Blatter and Platini were banned by football governing body FIFA for eight years in December over a spate of corruption scandals under their watch.
This offence, among other things, raised questions about Russia’s right to host the tournament.
But Mr. Mutko said on Monday in Moscow that since Blatter and Platini were appealing against their bans they were still permitted to attend football events.
“Formally, the suspension prohibits them from any position in football.
“But, on the other hand, how is it that an outstanding player like Michel Platini can’t go to a football event.
“We will invite them. I see no problems with the events we are hosting,” he said.
Mr. Mutko said Russian President Vladimir Putin has described Mr. Blatter as a very respected person, who had done much for the development of global football.
He said Mr. Blatter has fostered football as a form of cooperation between countries and peoples and therefore should get the Nobel Peace Prize.
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