"Don't get me started on how ridiculous the US is acting, and not just on footbal ..."
This was a leading story on the Russian evening news on Thursday - Putin spoke at length and ad hoc on his opinion to the FIFA scandal.
It is obviously something he cares about - and since he made these comments the day after the arrests, it seems pretty clear this was not something he had fleshed out with his advisors, - he was just shooting from the hip.
In their article on the comments, The New York Times only showed 38 seconds of the clip, and not the best parts (of course), and portrayed Putin as on the defensive and scare-mongering. That is ridiculous - here is the whole 4 minutes, courtesy of volunteer translators who did this for Russia Insider.
The Times seems to be congenitally incapable of getting anything right that happens in Russia.
What he says, and how he says it, is interesting. He seems very comfortable and confident that this episode will only hurt global public opinion of the US.
He accuses the US of once again throwing its weight around, sticking their nose into other people's business, meddling in affairs of sovereign states, brings up that this is in character with eavesdropping on everyone, says that it is cynical, timed to oust Russia friendly Sepp Blatter, to take the World Cup from Russia, to advance its agenda, to use sports as a political weapon, when sports should be a way for countries to bridge differences.
He says it directly, plainly, confidently and well. It shows why he is an extremely effective leader and politician.
We think he may be right, that this is going to work against the US in global opinion.
Here the full 4 minutes with subtitles, and transcript below
It doesn't affect us...
But of course I have my own opinion on this topic.
As we're all aware, the election of the President of FIFA was supposed to take place on Friday.
And Mr Blatter had every chance of being elected.
And we're aware of the pressure placed on him to replace Russia as the host nation for the 2018 world cup.
We know his position on this - which has got nothing to do with any special relationship between FIFA and Russia.
It is his general, principal position - that sport and politics ought to be kept separate.
And furthermore, he considers that sport should have a positive impact on politics...
and be a platform for dialogue, reconciliation and decision-making.
I believe he is absolutely right.
With regard to the series of arrests - at the very least it looks very strange...
As the arrests took place at the request of the Americans
And the accusation of corruption...Who? International civil servants
One could suggest that one of them in fact broke some law..
But the US doesn't actually have any right to be involved in this...
These civil servants are not US citizens
And if indeed there was some wrongdoing...
It didn't take place on US territory...
And it's got nothing to do with the US
It is once again an example of the US trying to enforce its jurisdiction on other sovereign states
And I am absolutely certain that it is a concerted attempt to prevent Mr Blatter from becoming the FIFA President
Which is a very serious attack on the operations of an international organization
Furthermore, the US prosecutor - as our media reports - has announced...
That these FIFA officials have indeed committed crimes
As if he doesn't know that an individual is assumed innocent until proven guilty.
It must be proved in court - and only after that can things be said.
Even if we were to say that the US had some right to the extradition of these individuals...
Whatever these crimes were, they were carried out on the territory of a third party
We know the US position on the former NSA agent, Mr Snowden
Who uncovered the illegal actions of the US on a global scale
Including the listening into the conversations of foreign leaders
Everyone has condemned this, including in Europe.
But nobody wants to guarantee his safety or give him asylum
Nobody wants to fall out with their partners, especially their senior partners
I mean, can you believe it? Snowden is a former NSA agent...A US citizen
And then there's Assange...
Who was forced to hide away in another country's foreign embassy for several years...
He has also been denied his freedom
What are they detaining him for - sex crimes?
Nobody believes that any more
They are after him because he released information obtained from US soldiers regarding the US army's actions in the Middle East, particularly Iraq.
Why did I remember this just now - because unfortunately our American partners use such methods...
To achieve their goals. And they do it illegally....
They spy on people
I won't rule out that the very same happened here with FIFA
Of course I don't know how it will end...
But the fact it's all happening before the election of the FIFA makes me think of it in this way.