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Blatter hits out at France and Germany over World Cup votes

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has claimed France and Germany were behind “political interventions” in the run-up to the votes for the World Cups in 2018 and 2022.

The voting process behind both competitions has been shrouded in controversy and allegations of corruption, with Blatter recently announcing his resignation from office just days after being re-elected.

Blatter appeared to backtrack on his resignation late last month – suggesting he was simply to offer his mandate at FIFA’s planned Extraordinary Congress.

However, Blatter said on Sunday he was tired of being blamed for the governing body’s troubles, stating former French and German presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Christian Wulff had exerted influence in the votes.

“Before awarding the World Cup to Russia and Qatar there were two political interventions,” he told Die Welt.

“Messrs Sarkozy and Wulff tried to influence their electors. That is why we now have a World Cup in Qatar.

“Those who have decided that, should also take responsibility.”

In recent months, a Swiss investigation has looked into suspected criminal mismanagement and money laundering in the bidding processes for the World Cups, while a separate United States investigation is looking into alleged racketeering conspiracy and corruption by a number of FIFA officials past and present.

“Is FIFA responsible from the top down for everything in football, what happens in some village somewhere around the world?” asked Blatter.

“Everyone has fears, for example of death, but with regard to my work at FIFA I have no fear. I’ve nothing to be afraid of.”

When contacted by Perform, neither the French nor German governments, or their respective football bodies, were immediately available for comment.

Sun 5 Jul, 2015
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