Sepp Blatter disputes David Cameron's 'murky' claim
Tuesday 08 February 2011
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has rejected David Cameron's description of footballing politics as "murky".
The Prime Minister used the description after England's World Cup bid attracted just two votes from FIFA's executive committee, despite promises of support from several members.
Blatter defended FIFA, although he again stressed that the decision to hold the vote for two World Cups at the same time - Russia and Qatar emerging victorious for 2018 and 2022 respectively - was a mistake that will not be repeated.
He said: "I don't like the word murky in this context. Have you ever had in the world transparency in votes or elections? You do not know who will win until the end.
"Those that have lost, I can understand they are not happy. If England had got past the first round, I'm sure they would have got more votes in the second round, but the problem was they didn't get through, and the same happened to Australia for 2022."
Worries about the extreme temperatures in the Gulf in June and July led to suggestions the 2022 tournament could be staged in the winter, causing a major headache for the scheduling of domestic leagues.
Blatter, though, confirmed the current plan is for the event to take place at the traditional time.
He told BBC Radio Five Live: "I think for the time being this matter is on ice.
"We have just signed the final documents and the delegation from Qatar was here in FIFA House, and everything is settled now, but it's settled for summer and all the 64 matches in the territory of Qatar."
Blatter also voiced his worries about the growing strength of the club game, although he insisted his concern is not solely focused on the Barclays Premier League.
He said: "I haven't got a problem with the English Premier League, I have a problem with those leagues that use the majority of the players not from the country where the league is played. This is detrimental to the national team.
"There is a movement also, and this is a real danger - there are directors or owners of clubs, not only in England, saying why should we continue to have national teams?
"This is a struggle we have now. It's very important and one day somebody will be at the head of FIFA who represents the interests of club football."
Blatter added: "There is a lot of criticism towards me but it doesn't matter, I think we are on the right path if we think that football is not only a game. Not only football for hope, but football as a school of life."
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