Putin says suspended FIFA boss Blatter deserves Nobel Peace Prize

Russian president Vladimir Putin has said suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter, under investigation for alleged corruption over his management of the world footballing body, should be given the Nobel Peace Prize.

Blatter is under criminal investigation in Switzerland over a two million Swiss francs ($2.79 million) payment made to vice president Michel Platini in 2011 for work carried out about a decade earlier.

Both Blatter and Platini are serving a 90-day ban from all football-related activities in connection with the investigation, with the football governing body to vote for a new head on February 26.

But Blatter has received public backing from Putin, ahead of the FIFA boss's appearance before the governing body's ethics committee to answer corruption allegations.

"That is someone who should be given the Nobel Peace Prize," Putin said.

"His contribution to the global humanitarian sphere is colossal.

"Whether there are signs of corruption in FIFA, the investigation must show. As for Joseph Blatter, he is a very respected person, he has done a lot for the development of world soccer."

Moscow has publicly supported the embattled outgoing FIFA head, with Putin praising Blatter's "experience, professionalism and high level of authority" earlier this year.

The Russian president said there were Western "machinations" behind the inquiry into FIFA corruption, launched in parallel to a US corruption investigation in which seven FIFA officials were detained in Zurich in May.

The Kremlin said at the time that the arrests were a bid to influence the re-election of Blatter, who alleged in October that a backroom deal saw Russia scoop the 2018 World Cup hosting rights.

"No country can or has the right to extend its jurisdiction to other states, even more so to international organisation," Putin said, referring to FIFA.

Putin on Thursday insisted that Russia had not colluded to win the right to host the tournament, saying that Moscow's bid had been "absolutely fair."