Sepp Blatter’s stance on Qatar World Cup softens
Fifa president doesn’t rule out stripping Middle East country of finals following bribery allegations
Sepp Blatter has been president of Fifa since 1998.
The Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, has refused to speculate on whether Qatar could be stripped of the World Cup over a new round of bribery allegations, which have been referred to its ethics committee.
Despite having previously insisted that the tournament would be held in the Gulf state come what may amid ongoing concern over the treatment of migrant construction workers and the climate, Blatter said he “was not a prophet” when asked whether Qatar could lose the World Cup.
He confirmed that investigators from its ethics committee would look into a report in the Daily Telegraph that former Fifa executive committee member Jack Warner and his family requested payments of more than $2 million from his Qatari colleague Mohamed bin Hammam shortly after the World Cup vote.
“I am happy now that we have an independent committee for ethics and this is now to be dealt with by this committee,” said Blatter.
Warner later resigned from Fifa, while prospective presidential candidate Bin Hammam was banned from football for life after offering bribes of $40,000 to members of the Caribbean Football Union at a meeting attended by the Trinidadian former Concacaf president. Both Bin Hammam and Warner deny any wrongdoing.