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."
Latest in Sport
Jose Mourinho highlights Arsenal spending over last 'three or four years', says Gunners are ready to be a title contenders
Manchester United fans want Louis van Gaal to sign Cristiano Ronaldo over Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski this summer
Angel Di Maria latest: PSG have 'only offered £28.5m' for winger, Manchester United holding out
Chelsea vs Barcelona preview: 'Football without titles is nothing,' says Jose Mourinho
Charlie Austin to Newcastle: Magpies expected to make £13.25 bid for QPR striker
- 1 Lord Sewel quits: Peer 'boasts of having sex with BBC presenter and seeing 13 mistresses'
- 2 Topshop pulls 'ridiculously skinny' mannequins after being shamed by customer on Facebook
- 3 Five-year-old boy forced classmate to simulate oral sex at primary school, claims mother
- 4 Black and ethnic minority people twice as likely to be hit by Tory cuts than white people, report finds
- 5 Polish court orders bank to repay drugged man after he spends £23,400 in lap dance bar
The 9 charts that show the 'left-wing' policies of Jeremy Corbyn the public actually agrees with
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
The last thing Labour needs is a leader like Jeremy Corbyn who people want to vote for
What the Labour party could look like under Jeremy Corbyn
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park