Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has dismissed bribes-for-votes allegations against FIFA President Sepp Blatter as "rubbish."
World football's governing body announced on Friday it was calling Blatter to appear before its ethics committee on Sunday, days before he and Mohamed bin Hammam face each other in the election for the most powerful job in world football.
Bin Hammam was questioned on Wednesday, along with FIFA Vice President Jack Warner and two Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials, after allegations of bribery in the election campaign.
Bin Hammam claimed Blatter knew about the alleged cash payments to delegates at the CFU meeting on May 10-11.
Putin, who thanked FIFA members "from the bottom of his heart" after the December vote that gave Russia the right to host the 2018 World Cup, said the accusations were "complete rubbish."
"I would vote for Blatter," he told reporters on Friday.
Russia was chosen as 2018 host ahead of co-bidders England, Spain-Portugal and Holland-Belgium.
The election is due on June 1.
NOVO-OGARYOVO, May 27 (RIA Novosti)