Kremlin says 'old friend' Blatter welcome to attend World Cup in Russia

Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter arrives at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to be heard in the arbitration procedure involving him and the FIFA in Lausanne, Switzerland, August 25, 2016. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy Picture Supplied by Action Images

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and ex-UEFA head Michel Platini will both be welcome to attend the 2018 football World Cup in Russia as "old friends" of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

Blatter, who had been president of the global football body FIFA since 1998, was suspended in 2015 by the association’s ethics committee. Platini resigned in 2016 as head of governing body UEFA after losing an appeal against a ban for ethics violations.

(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Christian Lowe)