Putin congratulates FIFA's Blatter on re-election

Published Jun. 2, 2011 11:34 a.m. ET

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has sent a telegram of congratulations to FIFA President Sepp Blatter on his re-election to the post.

Putin said Thursday that Blatter's victory showed he was a ''high global authority'' in the game and continue to ''selflessly serve this significant form of sport.''

Putin and Blatter have cultivated close contacts since Russia's winning bid for the 2018 World Cup, when it won ahead of England, Spain-Portugal and Belgium-Netherlands.

Blatter ran unopposed and overcame a maelstrom of corruption controversy to be re-elected at a FIFA Congress in Zurich on Wednesday for his fourth consecutive term.

His sole challenger, Qatari executive committee member Mohamed bin Hammam, withdrew from the race after being accused of bribing Caribbean voters.