Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter (right) and Russian president Vladimir Putin at the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil. (Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports)
By Michael Lewis
The latest from the incredible, but true, dept.:
Sepp Blatter, the disgraced former FIFA president, has suggested that the United States could host the 2022 World Cup if the competition is taken away from Qatar.
This stems from last week’s news when the U.S. Department of Justice issued an indictment that charged Russia and Qatar paid bribes to secure votes prior to being awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, respectively.
Blatter, serving a six-year ban from soccer-related activities due to ethics violations from his time as president, also has pleaded his innocence over the charges.
As we already know, the United States, Mexico and Canada have been awarded to host the 2026 World Cup and with the COVID-19 pandemic raging and the severe economic implications over the long and short term, it would be a long, long, long shot for this country or a combination of the three to stage such an event
This guy is insane.
According to the indictment, former Brazilian federation president Ricardo Teixeira, former CONMEBOL president Nicolas Leoz and a co-conspirator were given bribes to ensure their votes for Qatar.
“Germany could do it. But this would mean the World Cup being staged in Europe again after 2018,” Blatter was quoted by Sport Bild in Germany. “Europe therefore would not be first choice. The United States could do it instead of 2026. They are capable, it’s not rocket science! Japan could also do it. They also bid to host the 2022 World Cup.
“Fortunately, the 2022 World Cup will only have 32 teams and not 48 as [FIFA president Gianni Infantino] had planned. The organizational effort would not be bigger than 2018.”
If FIFA does what Blatter suggested, it would have to find someone to host the 2026 competition.
Just don’t see it happening with what is going on in the world right now.
Remember, this is from the man who suggested that women wear skimpier clothes to increase the popularity of their game.
He said this in 2004:
“Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball. They could, for example, have tighter shorts.
“Female players are pretty, if you excuse me for saying so, and they already have some different rules to men – such as playing with a lighter ball. That decision was taken to create a more female aesthetic, so why not do it in fashion?”
That’s from the incredible, but true dept. archives.