The Latest: Ex-FIFA President Blatter meets Putin at Kremlin

Joseph Blatter
The Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Thursday at the World Cup (all times local):

12:35 p.m.

Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter says he met Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin and talked about the Russia team’s good start to the World Cup.

Blatter went to see Russia’s president after attending Portugal’s 1-0 win over Morocco in Moscow on Wednesday.

Blatter says “we had small talks. We spoke about football and the good start of the competition, the good start of the team.” Russia has qualified for the round of 16.

The 82-year-old Blatter is serving a six-year ban from official football duty until October 2021 for financial misconduct during this 17-year rule. The terms of the ban meant Blatter was kept separate from successor Gianni Infantino and other football officials at Luzhniki Stadium on Wednesday.

Fulfilling a long-standing personal invitation from Putin to attend the World Cup, Blatter will travel to St. Petersburg to see Brazil play Costa Rica on Friday.

Blatter says it was “respectful” to be invited to Russia and the Kremlin despite being suspended from football.

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11:40 a.m.

Dele Alli missed England’s training session on Thursday because of a thigh injury, putting him in doubt for the team’s second group game against Panama at the World Cup.

The midfielder was hurt during England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday and was taken off in the second half.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is the likely replacement for Alli if the Tottenham player misses out.

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