Moscow: Sepp Blatter yesterday blamed Michel Platini and "bad losers" England and the United States for the corruption scandal engulfing FIFA.
Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini
And he claimed a deal was in place to award Russia the 2018 World Cup, and the USA the 2022 edition before the secret vote to designate the hosts took place.
But according to Blatter, Platini and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy skewered the 2022 plan by cosying up to eventual hosts Qatar.
The 79-year-old Swiss told Russian news agency TASS: "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. "That way, we'd have had the World Cups in the two biggest powers."
That all changed, he told TASS, "after talks between Sarkozy and Qatar's prince (Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani) who is now running the emirate," — a meeting followed by lunch between the two men and Platini.
As a result of that Franco-Qatari summit, at FIFA's secret ballot in December 2010, "four European votes deserted the United States and the result was 14-8 (to Qatar). "If those four votes had not changed it would've been 12-10 (for the USA).
"And if the United States had received the 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."