Former Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, has claimed that his fellow executive committee (Exco) members of the world football body overlooked advice that Qatar was not capable of hosting a World Cup, and went ahead and voted to award the competition to the Gulf state, Arabiya News reported.
The Sunday Times, which published an investigative story on the black ops run by Doha to secure the World Cup, reports that Blatter alleges Qatar’s upset win was a result of a “combination of a rule-breaking collusion deal and political pressure” exerted on Michel Platini, the French Exco member.
The above claims, the UK newspaper reported, are made in Blatter’s recently published book Ma Vérité (My Truth). The contents are defence of Blatter’s 17-year reign at the helm of Fifa, “which ended with a six-year ban from football”.
He goes on to say that because they had all already made up their minds, “nobody” among the Exco members, read the detailed inspection report on the candidate countries, because they had all already made up their minds.
The executive committee was superseded by the Fifa council in 2016,
“If we had read them carefully, we would have seen that the World Cup could not be played in Qatar,” he writes.
Blatter says Platini had called him to say he had been pressed to change his vote during a lunch in 2010 with then French president Nicolas Sarkozy, and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, now the Emir of Qatar. This claim “has always been denied by Platini,” says The Sunday Times.
Blatter says: “I do not know and I do not want to know if there is a connection between the Qatar World Cup award and what happened next.”
But then the ex-Fifa president notes that Doha “spent billions of euros in France on an aircraft contract and on buying Paris Saint-Germain football club.”