FIFA president Joseph Blatter clarified suggestions about possible irregularities when Germany won the right to host the World Cup 2006, in an open letter to Bild newspaper.
In an interview with Sunday’s edition of Swiss paper Blick, Blatter had mentioned the election of Germany over South Africa for the 2006 edition by the FIFA executive committee, when asked about corruption allegations around the election of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts, Russia and Qatar respectively.
“I recall the World Cup election for 2006 where someone left the room at the last instance. And there was a 10-9 in Germany’s favour instead of a 10-10. I was glad not to have to cast the deciding vote.
But suddenly someone gets up and leaves. Maybe I was too good-natured and naive,” Blatter was quoted as saying by Blick.
In Tuesday’s letter, Blatter sought to clarify: “I wanted to say that one can always find a pretext to doubt the legality of a decision.” He further wrote in the letter that when it comes to the hosting vote for a World Cup, “one can always find a reason to spin conspiracy theories. Even in connection with Germany, which delivered a perfect World Cup ... of which the whole country can be proud.”
Blatter wrote that he didn’t believe in conspiracy theories, but only in facts. “As long as there is no concrete evidence, one should stick by the legality of the vote. This applies to Germany as well as other countries. That is the gist of my message.”