World

Vladimir Putin accuses US of meddling in FIFA affairs, trying to take away Russia's World Cup

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks at the 10th business forum "Business Russia" in Moscow on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Putin has encouraged businesses to expand domestically before Western nations lift economic sanctions, allowing once again the sale of many foreign goods in Russia. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures as he speaks at the 10th business forum "Business Russia" in Moscow on Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Putin has encouraged businesses to expand domestically before Western nations lift economic sanctions, allowing once again the sale of many foreign goods in Russia. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Wednesday, May 27, 2015 pool photo Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia. Putin says the United States is meddling in FIFA's affairs in an attempt to take the 2018 World Cup away from his country. Putin said in televised comments Thursday, May 28, 2015, 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. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

    In this Wednesday, May 27, 2015 pool photo Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during a meeting in the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia. Putin says the United States is meddling in FIFA's affairs in an attempt to take the 2018 World Cup away from his country. Putin said in televised comments Thursday, May 28, 2015, 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. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Vitaly Mutko, Russia's minister for sports arrives for a meeting of the European Soccer federation UEFA at a hotel in Glattpark-Zurich, ahead of the FIFA congress, in Zurich, Switzerland, Thursday, May 28, 2015. The FIFA congress with the president's election is scheduled Friday, May 29, 2015 in Zurich. (Walter Bieri/Keystone via AP)

    Vitaly Mutko, Russia's minister for sports arrives for a meeting of the European Soccer federation UEFA at a hotel in Glattpark-Zurich, ahead of the FIFA congress, in Zurich, Switzerland, Thursday, May 28, 2015. The FIFA congress with the president's election is scheduled Friday, May 29, 2015 in Zurich. (Walter Bieri/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Russian President Vladimir Putin says the United States is meddling in FIFA's affairs in an attempt to take the 2018 World Cup away from his country.

Putin said in televised comments 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.

In a separate probe, Swiss prosecutors are investigating the awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.

Putin described Wednesday's pre-dawn arrests of seven soccer officials in Zurich as "yet another evident attempt to derail Mr. Blatter's re-election as FIFA president."

Putin added he is aware of "the pressure" on Sepp Blatter for his support of Russia hosting the World Cup.