Disgraced former Fifa president Sepp Blatter will attend next year's World Cup in Russia, after being invited to do so by Vladimir Putin.
Blatter, who is currently banned from all football-related activity for six years following a "disloyal payments" scandal, claimed he was personally invited to attend the event by the Russian president and is considering attending the first match as well as the final.
The 81-year-old also said that former Uefa president Michel Platini also received an invite to attend, but this was denied by his spokesperson.
Platini was also banned for all football-related activity for six years, later reduced to four, as part of the same bribery and corruption scandal that rocked the footballing world in 2015.
Speaking to the AFP, Blatter said: "I will be attending the World Cup in Russia, I was invited by President Putin, like Michel Platini was.
"I don't know how long I will be there for, if I'll be attending the opening match or the final. As I can't work in football anymore, and as I don't have any mission to accomplish, I may just pay a flying visit.
"I am certain that the 2018 World Cup will be a great World Cup. Russia has to demonstrate it can receive the whole world, it's a real challenge," Blatter added.
Fifa said they have no issue with their former president attending the World Cup as he has "no official function" connected to the footballing world governing body.
Blatter also revealed he is writing a book, due to be published before the World Cup, which he promises will be "quite tasty" and will reveal things "that happened in the past" – without going into further detail.
During the height of the Fifa corruption scandal, Putin claimed his old friend Blatter deserved a Nobel Peace prize for his work leading football's governing body.
Putin told Swiss broadcaster RTS: "I think people like Mr Blatter, the leaders of international sports federations or Olympic committees, deserve special recognition. If anyone deserves the Nobel Prize, those people do."