Political pressure influenced 2018, 2022 WC votes: Sepp Blatter
Munich: World football's governing body FIFA's president Sepp Blatter on Sunday said former French and German presidents tried to influence the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes for hosting rights.
FIFA awarded the 2018 Cup hosting rights to Russia and of the 2022 edition to Qatar. The handing of the competition to the countries sparked immense outrage and criticism. The decision to award Qatar the hosting rights was particularly criticised due to the summer heat in the country and its poor human rights record.
Blatter alleged that former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his ex-German counterpart Christian Wulff tried to persuade members to vote for the two countries.
"Before awarding the World Cup to Russia and Qatar there were two political interventions. Sarkozy and Wulff tried to influence their voting representatives. That is why we now have a World Cup in Qatar," Blatter was quoted as saying by German paper Welt am Sonntag. "Those who have voted for Qatar should also take responsibility."