A luncheon that brought together Qatar's former emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy changed the course of the vote and gave Qatar the 2022 World Cup, Former FIFA president Joseph Blatter said on Wednesday.
“The Frenchman Michel Platini is to be blamed, as he withdrew his votes from the US and gave them to Qatar, Batter stated in David Conn’s book The Fall of the House of FIFA. “Platini had a good relationship with Sarkozy and managed to turn the table around.
“I was not convinced with Qatar’s right to organize the World Cup, but I trusted Platini who assured me more than once that he would base his decision according to who he saw fit.”
“I know that there are some irregularities in selling TV rights, but I did not imagine that it would be a matter of buying votes for organizing the World Cup.”
According to The Guardian, Blatter is quoted to have said: “Sarkozy changed everything. He asked Platini to look for the interests of France and vote with his colleagues.
“Some weeks before that, he told me that we can’t go to Qatar because everybody will say we [must] have been under pressure to go to Qatar – that we were paid, or pressurized.
David Conn asked Blatter how he had felt when he pulled the name Qatar out of the envelope. “Look at the picture,” he replied, and grimaced. “I haven’t had a very smiling face.”