Putin: FIFA Chief Deserves a Nobel Prize
He 'doesn't believe a word' about Blatter being corrupt
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2015 12:33 AM CDT
FIFA President Sepp Blatter, left, and Vladimir Putin shake hands during the preliminary draw for the 2018 soccer World Cup in Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Saturday.   (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
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(Newser) – Scandal-plagued FIFA chief Sepp Blatter is not only innocent, he's worthy of a Nobel Prize, according to Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader—who joined Blatter for the 2018 World Cup qualifying draw in St. Petersburg on Saturday—says Blatter and other heads of major sporting federations "deserve special recognition," Reuters reports. "If there is anyone who deserves the Nobel Prize, it's those people," Putin told a Swiss broadcaster, adding that he doesn't "believe a word about him being involved in corruption." It's not clear which Nobel Putin had in mind for Blatter, who announced his resignation last month, CNN notes. (The bribery scandal could lead to Russia being stripped of the 2018 event.)