Moscow, May 28: Are dark clouds building up over the next Fifa World Cup in Russia in 2018? ON Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin lashed out at the United States, accusing it of meddling outside its jurisdiction by arresting officials of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the international football body. [Maradona cheers arrests, warns Blatter next]
Putin, who is at the loggerheads with the West over Ukraine in recent times, said the US made "yet another blatant attempt to extend its jurisdiction to other states". He also said the arrests were "clear attempt" to prevent the re-election of FIFA president Sepp Blatter and that Switzeland had Russia's backing. ['FIFA throughly corrupt, Blatter should resign as FIFA president']
The Russian president said it surprised him that the arrests were made on the request of the US.
He said the issue has nothing to do with the US and even the arrested officials are not citizens of that country. He said if something happened, it was not in the US.
Putin also said the attempt to stop Blatter's re-election violates operating principles of international organisations. "The US prosecutor, as our media report, has already said that those Fifa officials have committed a crime. As if the prosecutor didn't know about the principle of the presumption of innocence," a Guardian report said.
Putin also spoke about former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, both of whom went abroad to evade prosecution in the US, to question Washington's right to request the Fifa officials' extradition.
The Russian president said the US achieve its selfish aims and persecute people and the case with FIFA was the same.