October 20, 2017 / 10:04 AM / a year ago

Kremlin says 'old friend' Blatter welcome to attend World Cup in Russia

FILE PHOTO: Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter smiles during an interview in Zurich, Switzerland April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and ex-UEFA head Michel Platini will both be welcome to attend the 2018 soccer World Cup in Russia as “old friends” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

Blatter, who had been president of the global soccer body FIFA since 1998, was suspended in 2015 by the association’s ethics committee. Platini resigned in 2016 as head of governing body UEFA after losing an appeal against a ban for ethics violations.

Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Christian Lowe

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