Blatter in new World Cup claim

According to Blatter, former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his German counterpart Christian Wulff applied political pressure to sway voters before the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.

Speaking to Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper, Blatter said: “Before the World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar, there were two political interventions. Messrs Sarkozy and Wulff tried to influence their vote-makers.

“That is the reason why we now have a World Cup in Qatar. Those who decided this should also take the responsibility.”

In addition, Blatter claims that the German football association (DFB) “also received such a recommendation that Germany should vote for Qatar due to economic interests”.

He added: “Just look at all the German companies ??? the Deutsche Bahn (German railways) Hochtief and many more all already had projects in Qatar before the World Cup was awarded there.

“I act on the leadership principle. If a majority of the executive committee wants a World Cup in Qatar then I have to accept that.”

Blatter also insisted he has “nothing to fear” on a personal level as an investigation into corruption at FIFA which has seen 18 people indicted in the United States continues.

The 79-year-old said: “I am here to fight, not for myself but for FIFA. Criticism doesn’t hurt me – what does hurt are the tirades of hatred.

“Envy has turned into hatred. I am afraid people want to destroy FIFA, which is my product. Everybody has fears, for example of dying, but I have nothing to fear in view of my work at FIFA. I am not afraid.”

Blatter announced on June 2 he would step down from the FIFA presidency at an extraordinary congress to be held between December and March.

Since then there has been speculation that Blatter could actually stand for the post once again, but the Swiss has dismissed that prospect, saying: “It is not my intention to stand as a candidate again.”

Until that emergency meeting, Blatter is to remain in Switzerland and do all he can to clean up FIFA’s image.

That is partly because he feels there is a lot of work to be done, but also because he fears he may be arrested the moment he leaves the country.

“Not because the Americans have anything concrete against me, but because it would cause a public stir,” Blatter said.

“Until everything has been cleared up, I am not going to take the risk of travelling.”

Blatter is therefore not going to present the trophy to the winners of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada on Sunday.

It will be the first time Blatter has not presented the trophy to the winners of the women’s competition, which is held every four years, since he became FIFA president in 1998.????????????????????????

“After the tsunami, I just need a bit of time to recover,” Blatter said. “But self-doubt is one of the biggest enemies of a leader.

“I believe in what I am doing.”