FIFA President Sepp Blatter launched a scathing attack on those he said were “plotting to destroy” world football’s governing body, and branded some of the criticism of the Qatar World Cup award for 2022 as racist.
Blatter was addressing delegates of the African and Asian confederations at their extraordinary congresses ahead of FIFA’s annual congress which starts on Tuesday.
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“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.”
The African congress, which declared its “continued support” for Blatter, who intends to run for a fifth term as president next year, also passed a resolution condemning what it called the British media’s racist attack on its officials.
Blatter’s comment came in the wake of a series of fresh allegations made by Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper about the award of the Cup to Qatar and rumblings from sponsors who are unhappy with the current trouble FIFA is facing.
Blatter, without defining who “they” were, told Asian delegates “they want to destroy us; they don’t want to destroy football, but they want to destroy the institution (FIFA)”.
Qatar denies the allegations and says it was not connected to Bin Hammam.
Qatar was awarded the World Cup by the FIFA executive committee in December 2010, beating rival bids from the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea.