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Blatter was in charge of Fifa when Russia won the right to host the 2018 World Cup

Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter has accepted an invitation from Russia leader Vladimir Putin to attend next year's World Cup. Blatter's 17-year spell in charge of world football's governing body ended amid a corruption scandal in 2015.

Fifa subsequently banned Blatter from the sport for eight years, a term later reduced to six years after appeal. 

"I will go to the World Cup in Russia," said Blatter, 81. "I received an invitation from President Putin."

Xavi and Neymar played together for two years at Barcelona and won the 2015 Champions League

Neymar broke the news that he was leaving Barcelona for Paris St-Germain at Lionel Messi's wedding, according to his former team-mate Xavi.

The Brazilian moved for a world record fee of 222m euros (£200m) in August, after four seasons at the Catalan club.

Neymar and Xavi, who played together for two years at Barcelona, attended Messi's wedding in July.

Xavi also told the BBC World Service he turned down Manchester United because Barcelona was his "favourite team".

A goalkeeper in Indonesia's top division has died after colliding with a team-mate during a league match.

Choirul Huda, 38, was rushed to hospital on Sunday but pronounced dead shortly after arriving, doctors said.

In a statement released on the website of his club - Persela FC - Dr Yudistiro Andri Nugroho said Huda suffered "impacts on the chest and lower jaw".

He added the "initial analysis" suggested a "possibility of head trauma and neck trauma".

Dr Nugroho, from Dr Soegiri Lamongan hospital in Lamongan, East Java, said the collision resulted in Huda "stopping breathing and [caused a] cardiac arrest".

He said a medical team attempted to revive him but after an hour there were "no reflexes of signs of normal life".

The match continued, with Persela beating Semen Padang 2-0.

Persela said thousands of fans later attended a candlelit vigil to honour the goalkeeper, who made more than 500 league appearances for his only club.

"Thank you for your constant dedication," read a post on the club's Instagram account.

"Thank you for the inspiration you gave to Persela, Lamongan and Indonesian football."

 

Analysis - 'He loved what he was doing and he was a legend'

Indonesian football writer Antony Sutton met Huda a few months ago while researching a book.

"He played for his local team, he was living the dream," said Sutton. "He was just happy in his skin and happy in his town.

"He's a legend - a one-club man, His ambition was to become his club's goalkeeping coach after he retired.

"He never created a fuss about anything. He loved what he was doing but did it in such an understated way."

Source: BBC

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