Subscribe

Putin: US may be 'illegally persecuting' FIFA

Putin said in televised comments Thursday that he found it 'odd' that the probe was launched at the request of US officials for crimes which do not involve its citizens and did not happen in the United States.

  • close
    In this Wednesday, May 27, 2015 pool photo Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia. Putin says the United States is meddling in FIFA's affairs in an attempt to take the 2018 World Cup away from his country.
    Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/AP
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States of meddling in FIFA's affairs and hinted that it was part of an attempt to take the 2018 World Cup away from his country.

Putin said in televised comments Thursday that he found it "odd" that the probe was launched at the request of U.S. officials for crimes which do not involve its citizens and did not happen in the United States.

Corruption charges in the U.S. were announced Wednesday against 14 people, with at least two of them holding American citizenship, and linking them to banks in the United States. Seven of the 14 were arrested Wednesday morning in Zurich ahead of a FIFA meeting and Friday's presidential election in which Sepp Blatter is expected to win a fifth term.

In a separate probe, Swiss prosecutors opened criminal proceedings into FIFA's awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.

Putin said even if "someone has done something wrong," Russia "has nothing to do with it." He then tried to portray the probe as a U.S. attempt to go after dissenters, likening the case to the persecution of whistleblowers Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

"Our American counterparts, unfortunately, are using the same methods to reach their goals and illegally persecute people. I don't rule out that this is the case in relation to FIFA," Putin said. "I have no doubt that this is yet another evident attempt to derail Mr. Blatter's re-election as FIFA president. We are aware of the pressure that he was subjected to in relation to Russia holding the 2018 World Cup."

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who is also a FIFA executive committee member and is in Zurich for the governing body's congress and presidential election, said Wednesday that his country welcomes the investigation.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK