Russian president Vladimir Putin believes FIFA president Sepp Blatter is worthy of the Nobel Prize.
“I think people like Mr. Blatter or the heads of big international sporting federations, or the Olympic Games, deserve a special recognition.” Putin said on a Swiss television station, according to Reuters. “If there is anyone who deserves the Nobel prize, it's those people."
Putin also said he doesn't believe Blatter is personally guilty of corruption despite a widespread corruption scandal engulfing FIFA.
The interview comes just days after Blatter and Putin together at the preliminary draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in St. Petersburg. Blatter shared a picture of the two friends on his Twitter account.
Putin and Russia are set to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, though Swiss authorities are currently investigating into the bid process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments. Blatter was elected for a fifth term as FIFA president in May but announced his intention to resign just days later.
- Christopher Chavez