Blatter: 2022 World Cup will be played in Qatar
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — FIFA president Sepp Blatter responded to the latest criticism of the World Cup bidding process by assuring Asian football delegates that the tournament will go ahead in Qatar in 2022.
“Believe me, with all what has been said, what is told around the world, by whom? By those ... not involved exactly (with) what has happened or what happens in football,” he said. “The World Cup 2022 will be played in Qatar.”
Blatter made his latest remarks about the World Cup during a speech at the Asian Football Confederation’s 60th anniversary celebrations in Manila late Sunday.
Allegations of bribery and favor-seeking have engulfed world football in the four years since Russia was awarded the 2018 World Cup and Qatar was selected as host for 2022.
The Swiss attorney general has already received a criminal complaint from FIFA against possible law-breaking by unnamed individuals mentioned in American attorney Michael Garcia’s investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process, and the British government is considering launching a criminal investigation.
Although the Swiss authorities have a full copy of the bid probe, the 430-page report into impropriety remains secret, with only a 42-page summary judgment from FIFA ethics judge Joachim Eckert having been published.
Eckert said there is not enough evidence to strip Russia of the 2018 World Cup or Qatar of the 2022 tournament, which were both awarded in a December 2010 vote by FIFA’s executive committee.
The sense of disarray at FIFA heightened when Garcia objected to Eckert’s interpretation of his investigative work, appealing to FIFA citing “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations” of his work.