Fifa chief says European leaders influenced World Cup votes

06 July 2015

Sepp Blatter says Fifa should not be blamed for Qatar being named host of the 2022 competition

  • Blatter says former French president Nicolas Sarkozy intervened in the voting process
  • The Fifa president says former German president Christian Wulff also pushed for Qatar to win
  • Fifa is not to blame for conditions experienced by migrant workers in Qatar, according to Blatter

France and Germany’s political leaders influenced voting as the host nations for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were being decided, according to Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

Speaking to the German weekly Welt am Sonntag, Blatter said there were political interventions from both the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and former German President Christian Wulff that resulted in Russia being awarded the 2018 competition and Qatar winning hosting rights for the tournament in 2022.

“Sarkozy and Wulff tried to influence their voting representatives. That’s why we now have a World Cup in Qatar. Those who decided it should take responsibility for it,” said Blatter

“The paradox in this case is that I’m constantly called on to explain something that wasn’t really my priority at all,” he added. “I act on the leadership principal. If a majority of the executive committee wants a World Cup in Qatar, then I have to accept that.”

Blatter also said Fifa was not to blame for the conditions experienced by migrant labourers building stadiums in Qatar and that Germany’s vote was influenced by economic interests.

“Just look at the German companies. Deutsche Bahn, Hochtief and many more already had projects in Qatar, before the World Cup was even awarded,” he said.

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