Russian President Vladimir Putin has questioned the move by the United States to initiate action against FIFA officials and suspects it as an attempt to derail Russia's efforts to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which is now on shaky grounds following the FIFA corruption scandal.
"This is yet another blatant attempt [by the United States] to extend its jurisdiction to other states. It's got nothing to do with the USA. Those officials are not US citizens. If something happened it was not in the US and it's nothing to do with them," Putin said on Thursday, in televised comments.
"And I have no doubt – it's a clear attempt not to allow Mr Blatter to be re-elected as president of Fifa," Putin added.
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has been embroiled in charges of corruption and bribery, with its awards to Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups now under the scanner.
Putin, who has been closely involved with preparations for the 2018 World Cup, has questioned why the US has interfered in FIFA's affairs.
The United States initiated action against FIFA officials saying the crimes were planned on US soil and that the US banking system was used in the deals.
Early on Wednesday, the Switzerland police heeded to the US and arrested seven top FIFA officials from a luxury hotel in Zurich.
Swiss authorities have also launched a probe into the biddings for the 2018 and 2022 world cups, which are shrouded under accusations of bribery, after it was revealed that South Africa paid US$10 million to host the World Cup in 2010.
However, Russian officials have questioned the timing of United States' crackdown on FIFA.
"So there are clearly forces in America that are trying to turn anything positive that we have into a new channel of confrontation. And even if there was bribery going on, why would the Americans only bring it up now, just after FIFA refused the demands of [U.S.] Senators to revoke Russia's right to host the champions?," Kirill Kabanov, a member of Kremlin's council on civil society questioned while speaking to TIME on Wednesday.
13 US Senators had appealed to FIFA last month to move the 2018 World Cup out of Russia citing the Ukraine crisis, stating that "allowing Russia to host the FIFA World Cup inappropriately bolsters the prestige of the Putin regime at a time when it should be condemned".
Putin also said that there was 'pressure' on FIFA president Sepp Blatter for his support to Russia hosting the next football World Cup.