The US attempting to prevent FIFA re-elections: Vladimir Putin
Moscow, May 29 (IANS) The recent arrest of top FIFA managers on corruption charges is a manifestation of US attempts to extend its jurisdiction to foreign countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
"This is another blatant attempt to extend US jurisdiction to other countries, also an attempt to prevent the re-election of (FIFA President Sepp) Blatter," Putin said on Thursday.
Calling the move "a flagrant violation of the principle of international organisations", Putin questioned the legality of US authorities charging FIFA officials of actions done "in the territory of a third state", Xinhua reported.
"It is possible that someone has violated something, but the US has nothing to do with that."
Recalling that Blatter had withstood severe pressure to revoke the 2018 Federation Internationale de Football Association World Cup from Russia, Putin stressed that sports and politics should not be mixed.
"Sport must be a floor for dialogue, reconciliation and solution-seeking," he said.
14 FIFA senior officials and corporate executives, including FIFA vice-president Jeffery Webb, were arrested on Wednesday in Zurich and pending extradition as US authorities suspected them of having received bribes.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said earlier that the functionaries had no relation to the 2018 World Cup bidding campaign and that the case would not affect preparations for the world cup in the country.