Fifa president Sepp Blatter claims political pressure from Europe resulted in members voting for Qatar to win the 2022 World Cup

In an apparent swipe at Uefa president Michel Platini, Blatter admits that 'direct political influences' were applied due to economic links with Qatar

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has claimed that members responsible for awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar were pressured by European politicians into making the decision.

Blatter, who has come under fire for the decision, claims there was “direct political influences” involved in the decision, in what seems to be a Uefa president Michel Platini.

The Frenchman is considering running for Fifa presidency when Blatter steps down, although he has delayed his decision until either during or after next summer’s World Cup, but he has had to defend his current position after he claimed he voted for Qatar to take the tournament to the Middle East for the first time and not due to pressure by then French president Nicolas Sarkozy in order to secure trade deals with Qatar.

Speaking to German magazine Die Zeit, Blatter said: “Yes, definitely there was direct political influences. European leaders recommended to their voting members to vote for Qatar, because they have great economic interests with this country."

The current president also referred to the Fifa’s ethics committee investigation into how the bidding process was concluded, with Blatter claiming that although it began in last November, it has so far failed to yield any findings.

"We have set up a new, independent ethics commission to re-examine the awarding of the World Cup to Qatar," said Blatter.

Platini strenuously denied that there was any political pressure put on him, despite being invited by Sarkozy to attend a dinner with Sheikh Hamad Al-Thani – the Emir of Qatar – at the Elysee Palace ahead of the vote in 2010.

In a statement released in January, Platini said: “To believe that my choice to vote for Qatar 2022 was in exchange for agreements between the French state and Qatar is pure speculation and are only the views of those who write these lies.

"I have therefore made my choice independently, following a simple logic that I have always advocated: openness to countries that have never hosted major sporting events.

"I reserve the right to sue anyone who questions my integrity in this vote."

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?