Sepp Blatter has made startling revelations about the bidding process (or the lack of it), for the FIFA World Cups 2018 and 2022. According to the suspended FIFA president, the winner of the 2018 World Cup bid was already decided before a single vote had been cast.
Speaking to the Russian media, Blatter said that it was already decided that Russia would be hosting the 2018 World Cup. In another revelation, he said that Qatar was not fixed to be the hosts of the 2022 World Cup. In fact, a late surge in the number of votes handed the 2022 World Cup hosting rights to Qatar, instead of the USA as had been previously decided.
“It was agreed that we go to Russia because it’s never been in Russia, eastern Europe, and for 2022 we go back to America,” Blatter was quoted as saying by BBC.
Blatter explained that the decision was taken to host the 2018 WC in Russia and the 2022 WC in Qatar because they wanted to have these two editions of the tournament in two of the world’s biggest superpowers.
The suspended president was quick to point his finger at UEFA president Michel Platini (who is also suspended). Blatter said that it was because of the former France captain’s ambitions of becoming FIFA president, that he decided to stand up, and bring Qatar into the game.
“Everything was good until the moment when [Nicolas] Sarkozy came in a meeting with the crown prince of Qatar, who is now the ruler of Qatar [Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani],” Blatter was quoted as saying in a tweet by Daniel Garb of Fox Sports. “And a lunch afterwards with Mr Platini he said it would be good to go to Qatar. And this has changed all pattern.”
a Daniel Garb (@DanielGarb) . October 28, 2015
He also went on to say that Platini always wanted to become the FIFA president, but never had the courage to put himself forward.
“At the beginning it was only a personal attack – it was Platini against me. He started it, but then it became politics and when it is in politics, it is not any longer Platini against me,” said Blatter. “Platini wanted to be FIFA president but he did not have the courage to go as the president and now we are in such a situation in football.”
These revelations shed a lot of light on the wrongdoings that went on at the FIFA, ahead of the World Cup bids, for which, many countries like England, USA, Belgium/Holland, and Spain/Portugal had shelled out millions of Euros. While that money still remains unaccounted for, it will be interesting to see the steps taken, in light of these new revelations by Sepp Blatter.