FIFA President Sepp Blatter, currently suspended for three months by his organization’s Ethics Committee, has provided Russia’s state-owned news agency TASS with an extraordinary interview that reveals the extent of his self-delusion and lights MORE fires about the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids.
In the interview, Blatter boasts of his “friendship” with Vadimir Putin, rails against an alleged conspiracy by UEFA and Michel Platini to overthrow him (actually, maybe not so much of a conspiracy) and, in what should be BIG news, claims FIFA had planned in 2010 to take the World Cup to Russia AND the United States.
In an interview that took place in Zurich, Blatter revealed that plan was on track until the French government’s relationship with Qatar – and Platini’s subsequent support for a Qatar World Cup – derailed the agenda.
This is a sensational admission by Blatter – admittedly in an environment where the unreal has become the norm – and requires either clarification from FIFA about the bidding process and/or serious questions from other bidders about the process if there was already an agreement in place – even if it was broken – to take the World Cup to Russia and the U.S.
Those countries who may want to ask a few questions include England, Belgium and Holland, Australia (which had its bid funded by Australian taxpayers) and Japan and South Korea.
Blatter’s comments also prompt the question: what did the U.S. know about this supposed arrangement? Was this a done deal that went wrong?
Asked if it was mistake to hold simultaneous bidding processes for 2018 and 2022, Blatter replied:
For the World Cups 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. And so we will have the World Cup in the two biggest political powers.
And everything was good until the moment when Sarkozy came in a meeting with the crown prince of Qatar, who is now the ruler of Qatar (Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani).
And at a lunch afterwards with Mr. Platini he said it would be good to go to Qatar. And this has changed all pattern.
There was an election by secret ballot. Four votes from Europe went away from the USA and so the result was fourteen to eight. If you put the four votes, it would have been twelve to ten. If the USA was given the World Cup, we would only speak about the wonderful World Cup 2018 in Russia and we would not speak about any problems at FIFA.
You can read the interview in full here.