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."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with excess, cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?