More Sepp Blatter or blather. He is now insinuating that the 2006 World Cup was rigged to favour Germany.
When asked by the Swiss publication Blick about rumors of corruption surrounding the decisions to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments to Russia and Qatar respectively, Blatter responded: “World Cups being purchased…. I am reminded of the World Cup allotment for 2006, when someone left the room at the last moment. And instead of 10:10, the vote was suddenly 10:9 in favor of Germany…. Perhaps in that situation also I was too well-meaning and naïve.”
The reaction in Germany was altogether predictable. Franz Beckenbauer and Theo Zwanziger were “unable to comprehend the statements” and there was “no indications to suggest anything was askew”. These allegations are not new with Guido Tognoni, a former FIFA executive shedding light on how Germany was awarded the 2006 World Cup, but the timing is interesting.
The German FA had come down hard on Blatter to resign in the wake of the report that fingered him as the FIFA official called P1 with full knowledge of bribes being paid to Joao Havelange, the former FIFA president and a mentor to Blatter. Initially, after denying his complicity using as his defense Swiss law sanctioning such type of payments, he then under pressure said the 96 year old Havelange should be stripped of his title of honorary president. His reaction to the German pressure to step down was to also throw them under the bus. It’s a pattern that Blatter has followed in his career as FIFA president. Under threat, he blusters and bluffs his way through, pointing fingers at everyone else except him for the corrupt state of affairs. He could give the late Ken Lay a run for his money.
Think about it. A person leaves the room and it changes the voting and the outcome. The FIFA president is aware of the situation but does nothing to stop it claiming he was too naive. This is the sort of parody that goes into awarding the world’s biggest and most lucrative sporting spectacle.