‘Bad losers’: Blatter rejects corruption charges

2010-12-09 00:00

ZURICH — Fifa president Sepp Blatter has rejected allegations of corruption at football’s governing body after Russia and Qatar won the right to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, calling England “bad losers” for their reaction.

“To be honest, I was surprised by all the English complaining after the defeat. England, of all people, the motherland of fair-play ideas,” Blatter told Swiss weekly magazine Weltwoche.

“Now some of them are showing themselves to be bad losers,” he said. “You can’t come afterwards and say so and so promised to vote for England. The results are known. The outcome came out clearly.”

Roger Burden, acting chairperson of the Football Association, withdrew his application for the permanent position last week, saying he could no longer trust Fifa members after the failure of England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

He added that England’s bid team in Zurich, which included Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince William, were promised votes which had not been delivered by Fifa executive committee members.

Blatter said the reaction of the losing bidders showed some did not understand his drive to expand football’s frontiers.

“I really sense in some reactions a bit of the arrogance of the western world of Christian background. Some simply can’t bear it if others get a chance for a change,” he said.

“What can be wrong if we start football in regions where this sport demonstrates a potential which goes far beyond sport?” he said.

England’s bid chief Andy Anson has suggested Blatter influenced committee members before the vote by reminding them of British media stories which alleged corruption against them and led to two being banned.

Blatter rejected corruption allegations and said he was being targeted by anti-Fifa journalists.

However, he said Fifa could not act as if nothing had happened, adding he wanted to set up a task force to look into compliance issues, without giving details.

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