Sepp Blatter, the former president of the World Football Federation (FIFA), has admitted that it was a mistake to give Qatar the right to host the World Cup 12 years ago. He was the president of FIFA at that time. He also said that he discussed with Nicolas Sarkoz and Michel Platini for important votes.
The 86-year-old Blatter gave an interview to the Swiss media Tamidia for the first time since he was cleared by the Federal Criminal Court last July in the Fifa financial corruption case. Along with him, Platini was also cleared.
“That country is very small,” said Blatter about Qatar, which is the smallest host country after Switzerland, which hosted the World Cup in 1954. “Football and the World Cup are much bigger than that.”
32 teams will play 64 matches in 8 stadiums around Doha city. Which is prepared from a large-scale construction project after getting the project right in 2010.
‘It was a bad choice. At that time, I will take responsibility for the president’s hasiyad,’ says Blatter. He has been saying from the beginning that he is in favor of giving project rights to America. Five countries competed for the right to host the 2022 World Cup.
After a meeting organized by French President Nicolas Sarkozy a week before the FIFA Executive Committee meeting on December 2, 2010, the World Cup rights are said to have shifted to Qatar. Before that meeting, it was almost certain that the US would get the rights to the project.
The French great player Platini was then the president of UEFA and the vice president of FIFA. President Sarkozy met FIFA’s top leadership with him at his official residence. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Prince of Qatar was also there.
In that meeting, it was repeated on Tuesday that Sarkozy pressured Qatar to grant non-planning rights. Even after the Paris meeting, Platini was asked to change the voting process for hosting the World Cup by telephone.
Four votes from Platini and his UAE team went in favor of Qatar. Which deprived the US of the project rights,’ said Blatter. In the voting, there were 14 votes in favor of Qatar and 8 votes in favor of America.
Speaking to the Associated Press (AP) in 2015, Platini confirmed the importance of the meeting in Paris. Platini told AP journalists in Zurich 7 years ago, ‘Sarkozy never asked me to vote for Qatar. But I knew what was right.’
Since Qatar received project rights in 2010, Blatter has not expressed a clear opinion about labor exploitation and human rights violations there. But the current president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, has raised questions about the fact that he has started living in Qatar for the last one year.