FIFA president Sepp Blatter says in a newspaper interview that French and German presidents applied political pressure before the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively.
Blatter tells German Sunday newspaper Welt am Sonntag that "there were two political interventions" from former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and German counterpart Christian Wulff before the decision was taken to award the tournaments on Dec. 2, 2010.
Blatter says, "Messrs Sarkozy and Wulff tried to influence their voting representatives. That's why we now have a World Cup in Qatar. Those who decided it should take responsibility for it."
Blatter suggests that the German football federation (DFB) received a recommendation from Wulff "to vote for Qatar out of economic interests."
Blatter says the decision "wasn't my priority."