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March 9, 2021

Sepp Blatter calls England bid team ‘bad losers’

Fifa chief Sepp Blatter has criticised England’s reaction after defeat by Russia in the 2018 World Cup vote. Blatter also rejected allegations of corruption at football’s governing body after England gained only two out of 22 votes from Fifa’s executive committee, BBC informs. “I was surprised by all the English complaining after the defeat. England, of all people, the motherland of fair play ideas,” Blatter said. “Now some of them are showing themselves to be bad losers.”

Blatter told Swiss magazine Weltwoche: “You can’t come afterwards and say so and so promised to vote for England. The results are known. The outcome came out clearly.”

Some of England’s 2018 bid team were mystified that several Fifa executive committee members said they would vote for their bid only to renege on their promises last week in Zurich.

It led to Roger Burden, acting chairman of the Football Association, withdrawing his application for the permanent position last week, saying he could no longer trust Fifa members.

Burden said that Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince William and other members of the team were promised votes which were not delivered. Cameron made a jibe at Fifa on Wednesday when he was asked in Parliament what he thought about football’s governing body after his experience of the bid.
“I certainly learned one thing which is when it comes to breaking promises – politicians have got nothing on football management,” he said, laughing. Blatter, 74, said the reaction of the losing bidders showed some did not understand his drive to expand football’s frontiers.

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.

But Blatter rejected the corruption allegations and said he was being targeted by anti-Fifa journalists. “There is no systematic corruption in Fifa. That is nonsense,” he said. “We are financially clean and clear.” Blatter stated that Fifa could not act as if nothing had happened, adding he wanted to set up a taskforce to look into compliance issues, without giving details.

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