Blatter repeats claims over 2018, 2022 World Cups

Blatter repeats claims over 2018, 2022 World Cups
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Published October 30th, 2015 - 19:53 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Blatter has repeated suggestions the 2022 World Cup vote for Qatar was agreed in advance
Blatter has repeated suggestions the 2022 World Cup vote for Qatar was agreed in advance

Suspended FIFA president Joseph Blatter has repeated suggestions the 2018 World Cup vote for Russia was agreed in advance.

A similar agreement was in place for the 2022 tournament to go to the United States, until a late swing of votes for Qatar, Blatter said.

The Qatar vote followed a meeting between then French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Michel Platini, president of European body UEFA, and Qatar's emir, Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani, who was then crown prince.

"It has been agreed - let's go to the two superpowers in the vote for the World Cup: let's go to Russia and let's go to the United States," Blatter told the Financial Times on Friday.

A week before the December 2010 vote, Blatter said Platini told him: "I am no longer in your picture because I have been told by the head of state that we should consider the situation of France."

Platini then "brought some other voters with him," Blatter said.

Blatter's adviser Klaus Stoehlker was reported as saying "behind-the-curtain" talks involved "big players" on the FIFA executive committee to give the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and the United States respectively.

Blatter, 79, is the subject of a Swiss criminal investigation and both he and and Platini are serving a 90-day suspension imposed by FIFA's ethics committee.

Swiss prosecutors are investigating a payment of 2 million Swiss francs (2.06 million dollars) by FIFA to Platini in 2011. Both deny any wrongdoing. The Swiss investigation is also looking at the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process.

Platini is one of seven candidates standing to replace Blatter at an extraordinary FIFA congress in Zurich on February 26.

© 2015 dpa GmbH

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