Platini hits back at Blatter

21 September 2013 09:46

UEFA president Michel Platini has confirmed that political and economic influences are a factor when it comes to deciding on the hosts of major sporting events.

Platini was responding to claims by FIFA president Sepp Blatter that European members voted for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup after pressure from political leaders keen to promote trade with the country.

That was viewed as a dig at Platini by Blatter and the UEFA president responded in kind.

Platini said: "With the extraordinary influence Mr Blatter has, he has only all of a sudden realised there are political and economic influences when we decide who will host an Olympic Games and so forth? It's better late than never I guess.

"It's new, apparently. It was said that Europeans voted for Qatar but Qatar got 14 votes. We're only eight. If you subtract eight from 14 you get six left over."

Platini is the only FIFA member to have revealed he voted for Qatar but has said that his decision was not influenced by a lunch with the then French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the current Emir of Qatar.

Meanwhile, Platini - a strong supporter of switching the 2022 World Cup - said it was now up to Blatter to take the lead.

"It's a complicated discussion, let's let Mr. Blatter carry out that discussion. It is FIFA's problem," he said.

FIFA will make a decision in principle on moving to the winter on October 3 and 4.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger claims the main concern over playing the tournament in Qatar during the summer months is the safety of supporters.

Source: PA