Federation Internationale de Football Association 'takes note' of Sepp Blatter's attendance

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Disgraced former Federation Internationale de Football Association boss Sepp Blatter defied a ban to attend World Cup matches and arrived in Russia on Tuesday at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin.

"I think that England deserved to organise the World Cup".

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It is understood Blatter, who is serving a six-year suspension which brought an end to his reign as president after 17 years in charge, will attend Wednesday's match between Portugal and Morocco.

Despite his ban, Blatter has on several occasions said he would respond favourably to an invitation from Putin to come and see the World Cup in Russian Federation.

"I am a guest of the organising committee, but they will make an arrangement to see the President if ever possible".

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As FIFA's CEO-general secretary, Blatter oversaw preparations for each World Cup from 1982 to 1998.

"I have known Blatter since 1980".

The Russians have now scored eight times in just two matches, raising the spirits of home fans after a long spell of under-achievement.

He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing despite his ban and struck a defiant tone in Moscow, describing the criminal probe as "an attack on FIFA" and saying he was still president of the organisation.

The former Federation Internationale de Football Association president landed in Moscow to fulfil a two-year-old invitation from the host nation's leader. "How I was received here, television, cameras, people photographs and so on", he said. "Of course the president was also happy", Peskov said. "It was not an easy time for me, it's still not the easiest time". "Football should help, perhaps, to solve political problems", he said.

"I am not here to analyse the games", said the Swiss official, who has travelled to Russian Federation with his partner Linda Barras. "With 48 teams, you need more than one country, definitely".

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