MOSCOW: Vladimir Putin has proposed suspended FIFA leader Sepp Blatter for the Nobel Peace Prize writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
As Blatter was facing a world federation ethics which could see him banned from football so the Russian President was standing four-square behind the 79-year-old.
At his major annual press conference, Putin praised Blatter’s contribution in humanitarian spheres.
As reported by RIA Novosti, Putin said: “As for Joseph Blatter, is a very respected man. He did a lot for the development of world football. You know, his contribution to the humanitarian sphere in the world is enormous.
“In fact, he has always tried to use football as not just a sport but as an element of cooperation between the countries and peoples. That’s who you need to give the Nobel Peace Prize.”
Also this week Blatter was chosen as Switzerland’s ‘man of the year’ by the weekly magazine Die Weltwoche.
Blatter was suspended on October 8 from all football-related activities for 90 days alongside UEFA’s French president, Michel Platini, pending a full investigation into allegations of misconduct in office.
The FIFA ethics inquiry began in the wake of the Swiss attorney general office’s decision to open criminal proceedings against Blatter over a SFr2m payment to Platini in 2011. Blatter and Platini have both denied wrongdoing.
Platini, who had intended to run for the FIFA presidency, was due to be heard by the committee tomorrow but has refused to attend, claiming the outcome has been pre-determined.
Earlier this week, Blatter wrote to FIFA’s 209 member state associations, on his own stationary, proclaiming his innocence.