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'Political interventions before World Cup votes'

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'Political interventions before World Cup votes'
Fifa President Sepp Blatter. Photo: AFP
17:25 CEST+02:00
According to Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, French and German presidents applied political pressure prior to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes

Blatter told the German newspaper, Welt am Sonntag, that there had been "political interventions” over the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.
   
"Before the assignment of the World Cup to Russia and Qatar there were two political interventions," Blatter said.
   
"The Misters (Nicolas) Sarkozy and (Christian) Wulff tried to influence their electoral delegates," he said referring to the former French and German presidents.
   
He claimed that the German Football Association (DFB) had received a recommendation from the former president "that Germany vote for Qatar because of economic interests".

Blatter added: "Just look at all the German companies. The Deutsche Bahn, Hochtief and many more already had projects in Qatar before the World Cup was awarded there.

Blatter, 79, said: "That is the reason why we now have a World Cup in Qatar."

He added: "Those who decided this should also take the responsibility."

The voting process is now under investigation by the Swiss prosecutors.

Blatter announced on June 2nd, just days after being re-elected, that he would step down from the Fifa presidency at an extraordinary congress to be held between December this year and March 2016.
   
The decision followed a crisis that engulfed Fifa with 18 people indicted in the United States on football-related corruption charges involving millions of dollars in bribes.
   
Blatter has repeatedly pleaded his innocence and that of Fifa.
   
Blatter will not attend the final of the Women's World Cup in Canada later on Sunday, his US lawyer said last week.
   
It is the first time since Blatter's election as Fifa president in 1998 that he has missed the climax of the showpiece event.
   
However Blatter indicated to Welt am Sonntag that he did plan to travel to Russia at the end of the month for the draw for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
   

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