Qatar claims are racist – Blatter


Fifa president Sepp Blatter claims allegations surrounding the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid are motivated by racism.

Qatar was chosen as host in December 2010 but corruption claims have prompted Fifa to begin an inquiry.

“There is a sort of storm against Fifa relating to the Qatar World Cup,” Blatter said. “Sadly there’s a great deal of discrimination and racism.”

Fifa will rule on the validity of the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in September or October.

At that point, the president of football’s world governing body said, the “matter will be closed”.

Speaking to African football officials in Sao Paulo, Blatter confirmed that the latest allegations  would be discussed at the Fifa Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday.

He said Fifa needed to combat “anything that smacks of discrimination and racism”.

“It really makes me sad,” he added.

At its general assembly in Sao Paulo, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) condemned what it termed “the repeated, deliberately hateful, defamatory and degrading attacks by some media, notably British, on the image and the integrity of the Confederation of African Football, its president, its members, its member associations and the entire African continent.”

Caf added that it would urge the executive committee “to file a law suit, if necessary, so that the authors of this smearing and defamatory campaign against African football leaders are brought to book”.

Qatar overcame competition from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States to be named as 2022 hosts.

But the bidding process has been hit by a series of corruption claims.

American lawyer Michael Garcia is currently involved in an independent investigation into the bidding process and is due to deliver his report to Fifa in mid-July.

Blatter, 78, told delegates from the Asian Football Conference that Garcia would also speak at Fifa’s congress to update delegates on his inquiry.

Garcia is investigating everyone connected with the bidding process for both the 2018 World Cup, to be staged in Russia, and the 2022 event.

Qatar’s World Cup organising committee continues to reject claims of wrongdoing and says it is confident the vote was won fairly.

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