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HomeNewsFormer FIFA President Sepp Blatter: Choosing Qatar to host World Cup was...

Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter: Choosing Qatar to host World Cup was a Mistake

The decision to give Qatar the right to host the 2022 World Cup was a “mistake,” according to former Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

When Qatar was responsible for hosting the event, Blatter served as the head of the organization that governs world football.

Blatter claimed that his statement that the tournament “should not go” to Qatar in 2022 was “correct” at the time.


What has been said

The Swiss discussed the choice to grant Qatar the World Cup in an interview with the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger.

According to Blatter, Michel Platini’s activities under pressure from Nicolas Sarkozy, the previous president of France. It caused the tournament to be awarded to the Gulf state.

“Qatar is a mistake. The decision was poor.”

“At the time, the executive committee decided that Russia should host the 2018 World Cup and the USA the 2022 edition. If the two longtime political rivals had hosted the World Cup alternately, it would have been a sign of peace.”

When asked why Qatar was a poor decision, Blatter said: “It’s too small a country.” He did not address the human rights issues that dogged the event.

Platini, according to Blatter, was influential in steering four votes from European nations to Qatar under pressure from Sarkozy, causing the objectives of Fifa to be derailed.

“The World Cup was awarded to Qatar rather than the United States thanks to Platini and his [Uefa] team’s four votes. The US was defeated by 14-8 votes,” according to Blatter.

Blatter stated, “Platini informed me he had been invited to the Élysée Palace. Where French President Sarkozy had just had lunch with the Crown Prince of Qatar.”

“See what you and your Uefa colleagues can do for Qatar when the World Cup is awarded,” Sarkozy told Platini. Then I questioned, “And now?”

Blatter claims that when Platini was questioned about it, he replied, “Sepp, what would you do if your president asked you for something? Then I replied that I didn’t have an answer because Switzerland doesn’t have a president.”

FIFA & Blatter under scrutiny over Qatar World Cup decision

After serving as Fifa president for 17 years, Blatter was forced to leave in 2015. Due to claims that he had improperly arranged for Platini to receive a transfer of two million Swiss francs ($2.19 million; £1.6 million). Platini was also forced to quit his post with Fifa.

Due to the Platini payment, Fifa first banned him from football for eight years. But eventually reduced the term to six. He was then given a further ban until 2028 in March 2021 for “multiple infractions” of the Fifa code of ethics.

Blatter and Platini were accused of fraud in November last year but acquitted at a July trial in Switzerland.

In a recent letter to participating nations, Fifa urged them to “focus on the football” rather than the event’s contentious build-up.

Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and LGBTQ+ activists in England and Wales all criticized the Fifa letter. However, ten European football associations stated that “human rights are universal and apply worldwide.”

According to Amnesty International, since 2010, hundreds of thousands of migrant workers have experienced human rights violations while working to erect the infrastructure required to host the competition.

Denmark will protest Qatar by donning “toned-down” shirts, according to the company that makes their uniforms, Hummel. Company claims that they “do not wish to be noticeable” during a competition that “has cost thousands of lives.”

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