In an incredible interview with Russian news agency TASS, suspended outgoing FIFA president and foot in mouth specialist Sepp Blatter made a revelatory admission: that the host nations for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups had been agreed upon before the votes were conducted.
In 2010 we had a discussion of the World Cup and then we went to a double decision. For the World Cups it was agreed that we go to Russia because it’s never been in Russia, eastern Europe, and for 2022 we go back to America. And so we will have the World Cup in the two biggest political powers. And everything was good until the moment when Sarkozy came in a meeting with the crown prince of Qatar, who is now the ruler of Qatar (Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani). And at a lunch afterwards with Mr. Platini he said it would be good to go to Qatar. And this has changed all pattern. There was an election by secret ballot. Four votes from Europe went away from the USA and so the result was fourteen to eight. If you put the four votes, it would have been twelve to ten. If the USA was given the World Cup, we would only speak about the wonderful World Cup 2018 in Russia and we would not speak about any problems at FIFA.
In the English speaking world, this has largely been viewed as confirmation of what has long been suspected. That Russia and Qatar were awarded these tournaments through nefarious means. But they aren’t the only two nations implicated in this tale. Though the U.S. bid was ultimately scuppered by Sarkozy and Platini’s efforts on behalf of Qatar, Blatter is saying here that they were intended to be in the same position as Russia: a predetermined winner.
Of course, Blatter clearly has a bone to pick with the United States for finally pushing him out of his graft filled Garden of Eden, but if we’re going to believe what he says about Russia and Qatar — a nation he associates with sworn enemy Michel Platini — it stands to reason that we should also believe him about the U.S., too. And that should prompt inquiry into the U.S. bid.
Yet in spite of this and the fact that we already know American FIFA executive turned stool pigeon Chuck Blazer was both supremely corrupt and never reported by other U.S. soccer executives during his reign of mobility scootered opulence, the focus remains solely on Russia and Qatar while the U.S. is positioned as the victim of a World Cup robbery when it sounds as if someone else just might have cheated better than they did.
That’s not to say that the U.S. definitely engaged in wrongdoing, but to be beyond suspicion shows that this isn’t purely a battle between right and wrong, and is instead shaded with biases and politics (as per usual).
One more thing, Sepp. You seem confused about whether FIFA is a “commercial company” or not…
But FIFA’s own documents are very clear about this.
“FIFA is an association of associations with a non-commercial, not for profit purpose…”
So, you know, just FYI.