Qatar World Cup head: Blatter US support should be looked at
Blatter has been providing more detail about the most disputed vote in World Cup history
Sepp Blatter's support for the American World Cup bid should face more scrutiny, the head of Qatar's 2022 organizing committee said on Thursday in his latest expression of frustration at the focus on the probity of their winning campaign.
Qatar's FIFA backers have been criticized for seemingly ignoring the inspection report that highlighted the Gulf nation's fierce summer heat before still voting for the bid in 2010.
But Hassan Al-Thawadi, secretary general of the Qatar organizing committee, believes then-FIFA President Blatter also had little regard for the assessment of the bid inspectors, given his unequivocal backing for the United States.
Since being forced out of office last year, Blatter has been providing more detail about the most disputed vote in World Cup history, including claiming there was a ''gentlemen's agreement'' for Russia's turn to be 2018 and for the tournament to return to the US in 2022. Although Russia was successful, Qatar beat the US 14-8 in the final round of voting six years ago.
''Blatter wanted the US to win - it's just fascinating that nobody is raising any concerns about that and looking into that one to start off with,'' Al-Thawadi said. ''But fair enough. I guess we will take the flak again.''
Pressed further about Blatter at the Chatham House policy institute in London, Al-Thawadi said: ''He said he wanted the US to win ... regardless of the merits of the bid, regardless of anything else.''
The US bid has not been accused of impropriety. Qatar has also denied any wrongdoing following FIFA investigations.