Russia will be glad to welcome former FIFA President Joseph Blatter and former UEFA President Michel Platini, both of whom have been disqualified from their posts due to graft, to attend the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
While commenting on reports about Russian President Vladimir Putin inviting the two to attend the World Cup, Peskov said that "the World Cup is a huge celebration of football and all guests will be welcome to attend it, including old friends."
"As you know, Putin has long friendly relations with Blatter and he also knows Platini well. We will definitely be glad to see them in Moscow," Peskov told reporters.
Former President of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) Joseph Blatter said earlier that Putin had invited him to attend the 2018 World Cup scheduled to be held in Russia.
According to Blatter, former President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Michel Platini had also received such an invitation.
Blatter and Platini were disqualified from their posts amid corruption scandals. The Swiss Attorney General's office brought charges against Blatter regarding misappropriation and criminal mismanagement, while US federal prosecutors indicted 14 top-level FIFA officials in connection with wire fraud, money laundering and racketeering, which resulted in Blatter's removal from office.
Platini was accused of accepting a "disloyal payment" of $2 million from Blatter, prompting FIFA's independent ethics committee to ban him from international soccer for eight years.
Blatter and Platini have been banned for six and four years respectively.