2018 World Cup was Russia's before vote?

Zurich: Sepp Blatter has claimed there was a deal to give Russia the 2018 World Cup before voting took place, and blamed "bad losers" England and the US for the corruption scandal engulfing the organisation.

Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter

"In 2010, we (FIFA's 22-strong executive committee) had taken a double decision, we were agreed to go to Russia (in 2018), then in 2022 we'd return to the United States," the outgoing FIFA president told Russian news agency TASS.

If the United States had won the right to host the 2022 World Cup, "all we'd be talking about now would be the marvellous 2018 World Cup in Russia and not about any problem at FIFA," he said on Wednesday.

Blatter's comments prompted the head of the English Football Association Greg Dyke to say he would look into recouping around £21 million ($32.2 million) spent on England's failed 2018 bid.

Dyke said investigating the claims was a "good idea" as it would be "very nice to get taxpayers' money back."

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