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Putin Lashes U.S. on FIFA Probe as Russia Denies Wrongdoing

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Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the U.S. of using a corruption probe to try to block the re-election of FIFA chief Joseph “Sepp” Blatter for resisting attempts to remove Russia’s right to host the 2018 World Cup.

Blatter has “every chance” to gain a fifth term as president of soccer’s ruling body on Friday and “we know the pressure that was put on him to prevent the 2018 World Cup taking place in Russia,” Putin told reporters on Thursday in televised comments.