Sepp Blatter believes President Sarkozy influenced Qatar’s World Cup vote.

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has spoken openly about the role of President Sarkozy and Michel Platini in awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

Qatar was controversially awarded the rights to host the World Cup in 2010, seeing off rival bids from the United States – who were expected to win – South Korea, Japan and Australia.

There were widespread allegations of vote-buying and corruption, but an independent investigation commissioned by FIFA found no evidence of wrongdoing.

However, Blatter was accused of fraud after paying Platini £1.7m, which the pair described as a ‘gentleman’s agreement’. Both were cleared in a Swiss court, although Blatter remains banned from all football activities.

Now, in his first interview since being captured, Blatter has criticized the role of former UEFA chief Platini and then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy in giving Qatar the World Cup, and Qatar’s immediate purchase of fighter jets from France. talked about And why he considers the decision made in 2010 to be a “mistake”.

“A week before the 2010 FIFA Congress, Michel Platini called me to say that our plan would not work. He had been invited to the palace of President Sarkozy who had just had lunch with the Crown Prince of Qatar,” Blatter said. told Swiss newspaper Tagus. Enziger

“Sarkozy told Platini: ‘Look what you and your UEFA colleagues can do for Qatar when the World Cup is awarded’.

“‘Sep, what would you do if your president asked you something?’ Then I told him that the question didn’t come to my mind because we don’t have a president in Switzerland. This is how it turned out: Thanks to Platini’s four votes, the World Cup went to Qatar instead of America. True.

“Of course it was also about money. Six months later, Qatar bought fighter jets from France for $14.6 billion.”

Blatter added that the choice of Qatar was a mistake. “At the time, we originally agreed in the executive committee that Russia should have the World Cup in 2018 and the United States in 2022. It would have been a sign of peace if the two long-time political adversaries hosted the World Cup back-to-back. Other.

“It’s a very small country. Football and the World Cup are too big for it.”

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