Former FIFA president Joseph Blatter plans to attend the 2018 World Cup in Russia as a guest of honour in spite of being banned from football.
Blatter, 80, was banned for six years by FIFA in connection with a disloyal payment made in 2011 to UEFA boss Michel Platini, who has been sanctioned in the same way by the soccer ruling body.
Blatter has been invited to the World Cup by Russian President Vladimir Putin and told Thursday’s edition of German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung “I accept the invitations I receive.’’
Blatter and Platini are appealing their bans at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). If the sanction still stands by the time of the World Cup Blatter would not be allowed to attend games as a guest of honour but only as a spectator with a ticket he paid for.