Blatter: Qatar did not buy 2022 World Cup


Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter insisted Qatar did not buy the opportunity to host the 2022 World Cup as he continues to appeal against his ban from football.

Blatter was banned for eight years alongside UEFA president Michel Platini over an alleged "disloyal payment" of £1.3million between the two men.

However, Blatter has been under copious amounts of pressure since the controversial decision to hand Qatar the 2022 World Cup.

The 79-year-old, though, claims the middle-east nation prevailed not because of corruption but because of political pressure.

"You cannot buy a World Cup, it will go at the end where the higher political influences are," he told The Times in an interview.

"I am sure there is justice in this world and that I have committed nothing which goes to criminal law.

"I have killed nobody, I have not robbed a bank, I have not taken any money from anywhere."

Blatter and Platini appeared at FIFA headquarters in Zurich this week as they have their appeals heard, but the two have not spoken since they were arrested by Swiss police last year.

"I have never had a contact with Platini since we were picked up after the meeting of the executive committee," Blatter added.

"We were picked up by the Swiss police and put in a room and I asked him: 'Do you know what they want from us?' He said 'no' and they have seen that we are speaking and they have separated us. 

"Only later I knew why they wanted to see us. There has been no contact, no telephone, nothing."

FIFA is set to elect a new president on February 26. 

Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim al-Khalifa, Gianni Infantino, Tokyo Sexwale and Jerome Champagne are the five candidates to be Blatter's successor.