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Former FIFA president says Qatar was a ‘bad choice’ to host World Cup – National

Choosing Qatar to host the World Cup was a mistake made 12 years ago, then FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Tuesday.

Blatter, 86, spoke in his first major interview with Swiss newspaper group Tamedia since Platini was acquitted in July of financial misconduct at FIFA after his trial in the Federal Criminal Court. .

“It’s too small a country,” Blatter said of Qatar. Qatar became the smallest host country since Switzerland in 1954. ‘Football and the World Cup are too big’

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The 32 teams will play 64 matches in eight stadiums in and around Doha, which have been transformed since 2010 by major construction projects in preparation for the World Cup.

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The games kick off on 20 November and around 1.2 million international visitors are expected to arrive in Qatar over the course of the World Cup. Due to limited places to stay in the host country, some commute from neighboring states.

“It was a bad choice. As president at the time, I took responsibility for it,” said Blatter, who has long claimed to have voted for the United States. lost to Qatar in the final round of the contest by.

Click to play video: 'Government Diplomats Must 'Speak Out About These Abuses' If Attending 2022 FIFA World Cup': Human Rights Watch

Government Diplomats Must ‘Speak Out About These Abuses’ If Attending 2022 FIFA World Cup: Human Rights Watch

A meeting held in Paris by President Sarkozy the week before the vote by the FIFA Executive Committee on December 2, 2010, became part of FIFA’s lore that the expected US victory was headed for Qatar. .

French football great Platini, then president of European football association UEFA and vice-president of FIFA, was invited to his residence by then-President Sarkozy. The Crown Prince of Qatar, now Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, was also there.

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Blatter on Tuesday reiterated allegations that President Sarkozy pressured Platini, reiterating his version of the call Platini made to him after the Paris conference that the World Cup voting plans had changed. .

“Thanks to four votes from Platini and his (UEFA) team, the World Cup went to Qatar instead of the United States. It’s true,” Blatter said of the 14-8 vote.

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In his 2015 comments to AP, Platini broadly acknowledged the importance of the Paris conference.

“Sarkozy never asked me to vote for Qatar, but I knew what was good,” Platini told AP reporter seven years ago in Zurich. He admitted that he “could have told” American officials that he would be voting on the 2022 bid.

Blatter has not specifically addressed Qatar’s criticism of labor and human rights issues since 2010.

But his successor, FIFA president Gianni Infantino, has questioned why he has come to live in Qatar for at least the past year.

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Blatter noted a growing call from rights groups and several FIFA member federations, including the US and UK, to create compensation funds for the families of dead or injured workers. The Qatari government resisted the call, describing it as a “propaganda act”.

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“What can FIFA say if the president is in the same boat as Qatar?” Blatter said of Infantino, who chose to live in Doha.

FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the interview.

Blatter, who went to Moscow as Russia’s guest at the 2018 World Cup and where he and Platini were given a football ban by FIFA, told a Swiss newspaper reporter that he will be watching TV from his apartment in Zurich over the next few weeks. He said he would watch the game at

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Former FIFA president says Qatar was a ‘bad choice’ to host World Cup – National

Source link Former FIFA president says Qatar was a ‘bad choice’ to host World Cup – National

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