Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has cast his support behind FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who is facing an investigation as part of bribery scandal.
Putin dismissed the charges against Blatter as ''complete nonsense'' in Friday's comments carried by Russian news agencies.
Blatter is set to appear before FIFA's ethics panel Sunday as part of a a widening bribery scandal that also involves his election challenger Mohamed bin Hammam. Blatter is running for a fourth and final term as president, but next week's FIFA election has been thrown into turmoil by the corruption crisis.
Putin said in Friday's comments that he was sure the corruption allegations will have no impact on the FIFA election.
FIFA awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia, and Putin spearheaded the bid.