Embattled FIFA President Sepp Blatter tells Russian President Vladimir Putin that FIFA is offering its full support for holding the 2018 soccer World Cup in Russia. Nathan Frandino reports.
In Russia for the 2018 World Cup preliminary drawing, FIFA President Sepp Blatter says Russian President Vladimir Putin has nothing to worry about. A major bribery scandal has rocked soccer's global governing body, prompting some to call for Russia to be stripped of its bid to host the games in 2018. But Blatter says FIFA is fully behind Russia. (SOUNDBITE) (German) FIFA PRESIDENT, SEPP BLATTER, SAYING (ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL TRANSLATION): "I would like to inform you that the executive committee has recently adopted a new resolution in which FIFA assures the Russian Federation of its full support in carrying out the World Cup in Russia in 2018." The scandal plunged FIFA into its worst crisis ever and put Russia on the defensive. Russian officials have dismissed any suggestion the country could be stripped of the contest. Putin alluded to the crisis but was more cautious .... compared with his previous staunch defense of Blatter and his organization. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "We see what is happening around football but I know how you regard this and we are grateful that you are concentrating your time and attention primarily on sport." When the scandal broke out, Putin criticized the U.S. investigation into FIFA as meddling in matters beyond its jurisdiction.