Sepp Blatter Claims French, German Interests Prompted Qatar World Cup Selection

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2013

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Amid the controversy surrounding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, FIFA President Sepp Blatter revealed who he felt was to blame for the selection.

Reuters reported (via Yahoo!) that the Swiss administrator did his best to explain why Qatar earned the selection:

Speaking at a Rome press conference, Blatter said the vote to award the tournament to Qatar was influenced by "political pressure from European countries...because there were so many economic interests."

"Two of these countries pressured the voting men in FIFA: France and Germany...I think the heads of state of these two countries should also express what they think of this situation," Blatter said.

FIFA's executive members awarded the 2022 World Cup to Qatar in 2010 with 14 out of 22 votes, according to BBC Sport. It defeated bids from South Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States. As Reuters reports, there were accusations that committee members were bribed in order to make this happen, although officials denied this.

DOHA, QATAR - JANUARY 04:  View of the Grand Hyatt hotel on January 4, 2011 in Doha, Qatar. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently reiterated its projection for the Qatari economy with predictions of double digit growth for 2010 and 2011. Though n
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However, it appears Blatter is showing some regret over the decision with this significant statement. There clearly have already been a number of setbacks concerning the international event.

In October, BBC Sport reported that the World Cup—which usually takes place in the summer—would have to be moved to the winter in order to avoid the incredible heat of Qatar's summer.

Things then got worse in recent days when, via Twitter, the FIFA president declared the working conditions in Qatar to be unacceptable:

According to the Associated Press (via the Boston Herald), Blatter met with International Trade Union Confederation president Michael Sommer, who stated:

Qatar must guarantee the (International Labor Organization's) core labor standards and thus eliminate discrimination and forced labor as well as allow freedom of association for its 1.3 million migrant workers.

These issues continue to pile up, and the world football organization is left trying to make everything right before 2022. Still, Blatter maintains that his group is not completely responsible and that some of the blame lies with the European leaders.

No matter who is to blame, it is clear that something needs to change within the next eight years before the biggest sports tournament in the world becomes a disaster.


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