Disgraced FIFA President Sepp Blatter has been named as a former lover of model Irina Shayk in a bombshell story which is making headlines across the world.
Spanish daily El Mundo made the sensational claim about the roving-eyed football chief and Cristiano Ronaldo's ex girlfriend in a piece published yesterday titled 'All the women in Blatter's life.'
It declared the 79-year-old 'had a relationship' with the Russian beauty after dating tennis player Ilona Boguska but before meeting glamourous Linda Barras, 50.
Blatter began seeing Polish-born Ilona, a friend of his daughter Corinne, in 1995 and they separated in 2002, it is claimed.
They dated again after Blatter's short 2002 marriage to Graziella Bianca - a dolphin trainer who was also a friend of his daughter.
Blatter is understood to have become close to Swiss socialite Barras at the beginning of 2014 and has been described as her boyfriend by Swiss and other international press even though her husband Christian insists they are just 'close friends.'
The article linking Blatter to Shayk was written by El Mundo's Berlin-based correspondent Rosalia Sanchez.
She said today following the international repercussions of her piece that the Russian had been named by a 'Swiss source' while she was investigating the outgoing FIFA chief's love life.
El Mundo's claims about Blatter and Shayk - a guest of Prince Charles at a recent Buckingham Palace party - were being echoed across the world today.
Headlines about the supposed affair appeared on news sites as far afield as Peru, Portugal, Mexico and Vietnam as well as on social networking sites including Twitter.
A New York-based spokesman for Irina Shayk declined to comment on the allegations, but a source close to the model was quoted as saying: 'It is absolutely untrue.'
Some attributed the information to 'several national and international media' and failed to mention El Mundo as the original source.
Wikipedia, which described Blatter as a 'Swiss tosser' last week after his page was hacked, has so far made no mention of the FIFA chief's friendship with Irina Shayk.
The controversial soccer boss was described by one paper last week as a a 'short, bald despot with a leering eye for women half his age'.
He announced his resignation on Tuesday just three days after winning a fifth term as president amid a corruption scandal that continues to rock world football.
Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney revealed yesterday that he told Blatter to 'move on' after the outgoing FIFA president eyed his partner Emma English before saying he 'approved' of her.
Mr Delaney told RTE Radio One during an interview: 'He met Emma, my partner, in Vienna recently.
'He stared at her for seven or eight seconds and he said, 'I approve of your new girlfriend'...I asked him to move on, move on please,' he said.
'She is a great girl. I love her very much. It was an extraordinary moment. If she was here she would tell you herself... He stared at her and I said 'move on' and he did,' Mr Delaney added.
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