Sepp Blatter has blamed friend-turned foe Michel Platini for the “mistake” of awarding Qatar this month’s World Cup.
The since-disgraced Blatter, 86, was Fifa President at the time of the 2010 twin vote for the 2018 and 2022 hosts.
Blatter has never hidden his claims that he initially voted for Australia before switching to the USA for the second round of the 2022 vote, as part of his ambition of awarding consecutive hosting rights to the three grand powers of Russia, America and China.
And now in an interview in his homeland, Swiss fixer Blatter, ousted after the FBI raids on Fifa in 2015, pinned the blame directly on ex-Uefa boss and one-time protege Platini.
Blatter said: “The choice of Qatar was a mistake.
“At the time, we actually agreed in the Executive Committee that Russia should get the 2018 World Cup and the USA that of 2022.
“It would have been a gesture of peace if the two longstanding political opponents had hosted the World Cup one after the other.”
“But a week before the 2010 Fifa Congress, Michel Platini called me and said our plan would no longer work.
“He told me he had been invited to the Elysée Palace, where then French President Sarkozy had just had lunch with the Crown Prince of Qatar.
“Sarkozy said to Platini: ‘See what you and your colleagues from Uefa can do for Qatar when the World Cup is awarded.’
“I then asked him, ‘And now?’ and he replied: ‘Sepp, what would you do if your President asked you for something?’
“So I couldn‘t count on Platini anymore. It came out exactly like this: Thanks to Platini’s four votes and his people, the World Cup went to Qatar instead of the USA. That’s the truth.”
Blatter, who barely concealed his anger at the decision of the then-22 man committee, added: “Qatar is too small a country.
“Football and the World Cup are too big for that. The choice was bad.”
Blatter also took a dig at his Fifa successor, Gianni Infantino, who upped sticks from the world organisation’s base to move with his family to Doha.
He said: “What I‘m wondering: why is the new Fifa president living in Qatar?
“He can‘t be the head of the local World Cup organisation. That’s not his job.
“The Fifa President should have the ultimate supervision.
“For example, there is a proposal to set up a fund for the deceased workers and the bereaved.
“Qatar says no. What should Fifa say if their president is in the same boat as Qatar?”
This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission