Blatter Claims Awarding World Cup Host to Qatar was a Mistake
The decision to give Qatar the right to host the 2022 World Cup finals was a “mistake,” according to former FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
In 2010, Qatar was chosen to host the tournament instead of the United States by a vote of 14-8 of FIFA’s executive committee.
Blatter said as much in an interview with AFP’s German sports division SID. “It was a mistake.” “I carry some of the blame because it was based on a choice I made while I was president.”
Blatter claims that despite his support for the United States as the 2022 tournament host, Michel Platini, the then-president of UEFA, swung the decision in Qatar’s favor at the urging of Nicolas Sarkozy, the then-president of France.
Blatter stated that Sarkozy had advised Platini “that he and his people should vote for Qatar.”
Platini has refuted the former FIFA president’s account of what happened.
The president (Sarkozy) never asked me to vote for one nation over another, but I had the idea that he preferred Qatar, according to Platini, who attended a luncheon at the Elysee Palace with Sarkozy and the then-Qatari crown prince Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani just before the vote.
The first World Cup to take place in the Middle East and in the winter in the Northern Hemisphere is the one in Qatar.
The event runs from November 20 until December 18.
Corruption claims surrounded the vote to award the competition to Qatar.
Sepp Blatter stated, “I didn’t care if someone was persuaded here or there,” adding that as the voting process progressed, he became aware that “other forces were at work.”
Blatter claimed that instead of giving presents to the voters, the Qataris donated them to their nations.
After serving as FIFA president for 17 years, Blatter was forced to leave in 2015 after claims that he had illegally orchestrated the transfer of $2.2 million to Platini. Platini was also forced to resign from his position with FIFA.
Because of the payment to Platini, FIFA first banned Blatter from football for eight years; this sentence was ultimately lowered to six. Due to transgressions of FIFA’s code of ethics, Blatter’s suspension was prolonged until 2028.
A trial in Switzerland in July resulted in a verdict that Blatter and Platini were not guilty of fraud.