Then-Fifa president Sepp Blatter on Tuesday again said it was a mistake to choose Qatar to host the Football World Cup 12 years ago, citing a crucial vote meeting between Nicolas Sarkozy and Michel Platini. Blatter, 86, spoke with the Swiss newspaper group Tamedia in his first major interview since Platini was acquitted in July in a financial misconduct trial at FIFA in federal criminal court. Blatter said of Qatar, “It is a country that is very small.”
Qatar is the smallest host by size since the 1954 tournament in Switzerland. “Football and the World Cup are huge for him,” Blatter said. 32 teams from around the world will play 64 matches in eight stadiums in and around the city of Doha. Around 1.2 million international spectators are expected to visit Qatar during the World Cup. The World Cup matches will start from November 20. The host country however has limited living space. Blatter said, “It was a bad choice and I was responsible for it as president at the time.” Blatter said he had voted for America. Qatar had beaten the US bid in the race to host the 2022 World Cup.