Putin accuses U.S. of meddling in FIFA affairs

Putin says U.S. is attempting to take 2018 World Cup away from Russia by meddling in FIFA probe

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the United States is meddling in FIFA's affairs in an attempt to take the 2018 World Cup away from his country.

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

In a separate inquiry, Swiss prosecutors are investigating the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.

Putin described Wednesday's predawn arrests of seven soccer officials in Zurich as "yet another evident attempt to derail Mr. Blatter's reelection as FIFA president."

Putin added he is aware of "the pressure" on Sepp Blatter for his support of Russia hosting the World Cup.

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