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Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Sepp Blatter calls England bid team 'bad losers'

Sepp Blatter
Fifa awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia

Fifa chief Sepp Blatter has criticised England's reaction after defeat by Russia in the 2018 World Cup vote.

Blatter also rejected allegations of corruption at football's governing body after England gained only two out of 22 votes from Fifa's executive committee.

"I was surprised by all the English complaining after the defeat. England, of all people, the motherland of fair play ideas," Blatter said.

"Now some of them are showing themselves to be bad losers."

Blatter told Swiss magazine Weltwoche: "You can't come afterwards and say so and so promised to vote for England. The results are known. The outcome came out clearly."


Some of England's 2018 bid team were mystified that several Fifa executive committee members said they would vote for their bid only to renege on their promises last Thursday in Zurich.

It led to Roger Burden, acting chairman of the Football Association, withdrawing his application for the permanent position last week, saying he could no longer trust Fifa members.

Burden said that Prime Minister David Cameron, Prince William and other members of the team were promised votes which were not delivered.

Cameron made a jibe at Fifa on Wednesday when he was asked in Parliament what he thought about football's governing body after his experience of the bid.

"I certainly learned one thing which is when it comes to breaking promises - politicians have got nothing on football management," he said, laughing.

Blatter, 74, said the reaction of the losing bidders showed some did not understand his drive to expand football's frontiers.

"I really sense in some reactions a bit of the arrogance of the Western world of Christian background. Some simply can't bear it if others get a chance for a change," he said.

"What can be wrong if we start football in regions where this sport demonstrates a potential which goes far beyond sport?"

BBC not to blame for bid failure - Jordaan

England's bid chief Andy Anson has suggested Blatter influenced committee members before the vote by reminding them of British media stories which alleged corruption against them and led to two being banned.

But Blatter rejected the corruption allegations and said he was being targeted by anti-Fifa journalists.

"There is no systematic corruption in Fifa. That is nonsense," he said. "We are financially clean and clear."

Blatter stated that Fifa could not act as if nothing had happened, adding he wanted to set up a taskforce to look into compliance issues, without giving details.

"We need to improve our image. We also need to clarify some things within Fifa," he said.

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see also
Warner blames UK media for snub
07 Dec 10 |  Football
Fifa to keep Cup voting process
06 Dec 10 |  Football
Anson floats Fifa reform proposal
04 Dec 10 |  Football
FA chief to quit in Fifa protest
04 Dec 10 |  Football
Anson leads calls for Fifa reform
03 Dec 10 |  Football
England 2018 bid 'sunk by media'
03 Dec 10 |  Football
England bid boss fumes at voting
02 Dec 10 |  Football
Russia & Qatar to host World Cups
02 Dec 10 |  Football
England miss out in 2018 Cup vote
02 Dec 10 |  Football

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