Vladimir Putin has waded into the FIFA controversy, throwing his weight firmly behind its embattled president.
The Russian president’s voluble support might not necessarily help Sepp Blatter’s case amongst his detractors, however.
Mr Putin has accused the United States of meddling in FIFA’s affairs, and trying to take away Russia’s World Cup.
He described the arrests of senior FIFA officials in Zurich as “at best, odd,” and said they were the latest attempt by the US to extend its jurisdiction to other states.
He spoke of alleged “pressure” on Mr Blatter over his support of Russia’s World Cup bid, and said this was “yet another evident attempt to de-rail Mr Blatter’s re-election as FIFA president”… see more