Putin to meet Blatter at WC draw

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet outgoing FIFA head Sepp Blatter on the sidelines of a 2018 World Cup draw, the Kremlin said, amid a corruption scandal that threatened to hit Russia’s hosting of the event. “A meeting with Blatter is expected, it is on the agenda” at the event in St Petersburg, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Russia is set to host the 2018 World Cup, but the bidding process for the tournament, as well as that of Qatar’s World Cup, has come under scrutiny as part of twin Swiss and US corruption investigations into FIFA’s practices. The preliminary draw will determine the groups for continental World Cup qualifiers. Representatives of some 140 football associations, as well as current and former star players, are expected to attend.