FIFA president Sepp Blatter has hinted that the awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany may have been a tainted vote.
The 76-year-old has revealed that one of the members with the right to vote inexplicably left the room during the election, and feels that he was perhaps too naive not to think anything of it at the time.
“World Cups that were bought… I’m thinking about how the 2006 World Cup was awarded, when someone all of a sudden left the room at the last moment. Instead of a 10-10 tie, it was now 10-9 in favour of Germany’s bid during the vote,” Blatter said in an interview with Swiss newspaper Blick.
“I was pleased that I didn’t have to give the decisive vote. But, well, someone just got up all of a sudden and left the room. Perhaps I was a bit too naive on that occasion. I’m not implying anything. I’m just saying what happened.”
The German football association (DFB) has reacted angrily to Blatter’s comments, and have dismissed them as an attempt to distract from the recent bribery scandal involving former FIFA president Joao Havelange.
“These nebulous remarks are completely unfounded and only seem to serve the goal of creating a distraction from the current affairs and events within FIFA,” DFB secretary general Helmut Sandrock said.
Blatter also revealed that an unnamed football association president attempted to bribe him in 1986.
“There has been an attempt to bribe me. When I was still secretary-general, the president of a country’s FA approached me. It was ahead of a play-off game ahead of the 1986 World Cup. It happened here at the Fifa headquarters,” the Swiss said.
“He came up to me and stated ‘it would be good if the referee would be in our favour’ before shoving an envelope in my pocket-coat. There was $50,000 in there, which I gave to our accountant.
“We opened a bank account in his name, and told him about it. He withdrew the money again shortly after, and nobody’s since tried to bribe me again.”