Russian president Vladimir Putin, has said that FIFA president Sepp Blatter, deserves a Nobel Prize for his accomplishments.
The two men met on Saturday in St. Petersburg, as the qualifying draws for the 2018 World Cup, which will be played in Russia, was held.
Putin, who has consistently flayed the investigations into the corruption and scandal in FIFA, used the opportunity to defend the embattled Blatter again.
“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,” he said via Swiss broadcaster RTS.
“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.”
Putin also claimed that the timing of the initial arrests and investigations, is a ploy by some countries to snatch the hosting rights of the World Cup.
“The way there is this fight against corruption makes me wonder if it isn’t a continuation of the bids for 2018 and 2022,” he added.