Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of going outside its jurisdiction by arresting officials from FIFA.
“This is yet another blatant attempt [by the United States] to extend its jurisdiction to other states,” the Russian president said on Thursday.
He said the arrests were a “clear attempt” to prevent the re-election of FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who he said had Russia’s backing. “It looks very strange, the arrests are carried out on the request of the US side,” he said.
Putin said in a television interview on Thursday that it is “odd” that the probe was launched at the request of U.S officials for crimes which do not involve its citizens and did not happen in the United States.
Russia won the rights to host the 2018 World Cup with Blatter’s advocacy.
The 2010 decision, along with the 2022 tournament to Qatar, are a subject of a Swiss criminal investigation running parallel to the US action.