Anyone believe him?
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Fifa president Sepp Blatter has added his voice to those which do not believe England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup has been damaged.
His comments come after Fifa executive committee members Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii were suspended on Thursday following allegations of corruption over World Cup votes that came out in a Sunday Times investigation.
Uefa president Michel Platini has since said the investigation will not diminish England’s chances of staging the event in eight years, although he feels the English media’s largely negative coverage of Fifa over the years could count against them.
And, while Blatter told a news conference on Friday that he thought the ‘entrapment’ was ‘not fair’, he insisted that should not – as is feared by England 2018 – rebound on their bid, with the host nation set to be announced on 2nd December.
The Fifa president said: “Why should this have an influence on the English bid? Human beings taking decision don’t look so much at the documents in front of them so I don’t think they will into consideration what has been published or not.
“That’s my opinion.” (Sky Sports)
This should give those supporting the England 2018 bid a bit of comfort but there will still be a niggling doubt that some damage has been done by all that has gone on. From the Russian digs to the complaint that was made about the comments made by Alexei Sorokin and then the withdrawl of those comments, to Lord Triesman’s claims and then the investigation by The Sunday Times, one wonders if none of these incidents will really not count against the bid.
On paper it would appear that it was about time England were awarded a World Cup and after all that has occurred up to this point, any decision that goes against the bid will look like it was cooked by thanks to some Anti-England bias within FIFA.
Roll on December 2nd!
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