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Tue 7 Jun 2011 10:50 AM

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No probe into Qatar ‘cash for votes’ claims, says Blatter

FIFA president will not instigate a probe into claims Qatar paid millions to win the 2022 World Cup

No probe into Qatar ‘cash for votes’ claims, says Blatter
A sign on the FIFA headquarters is seen on late November 30, 2010 in Zurich. (Getty Images)
No probe into Qatar ‘cash for votes’ claims, says Blatter

Newly re-elected FIFA president Sepp Blatter will not launch
an investigation into Qatar’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup, despite
allegations the Gulf state had offered cash bribes for votes.

But the 75-year-old Swiss said he would not block the ethics
or solutions committees of soccer’s governing body should they initiate an
inquiry.

"I don't know why we should go in [on Qatar] - then we
shall go to all [World Cup hosts]," Blatter told CNN. “I don't know why we
should open something because somebody has said something towards Qatar.”

Qatar has been under scrutiny after an ex-member of Qatar’s
bid team said the Gulf state had paid millions of dollars in bribes to secure
the tournament.

The whistleblower said Qatar had paid FIFA members Issa
Hayatou and Jacques Anouma $1.5m each to secure their vote.

Speculation was further fuelled when a leaked email from FIFA
secretary general Jarome Valcke said Qatar had “bought” the rights to stage the
2022 soccer tournament.

Valcke later claimed he had used the word "bought"
casually in reference to the financial muscle of the gas-rich Gulf state and
was not suggesting any impropriety.

Qatar’s bid team has strongly denied the allegations.

Blatter, who was re-elected unopposed after his opponent
Mohamed Bin Hammam withdrew from the race amid cash-for-votes allegations,
has been unconvinced by the bribery claims.

“If this committee of solutions or the ethics committee have
the impression that they should do something then let them take the decisions,”
he said.

FIFA, which generates $4bn from the World Cup, has rushed to
placate its critics after a slew of corruption scandals roiled the sport and
put pressure on the body to reform.

Blatter has introduced three new measures, including opening
up the vote on future World Cup hosts to the entire 208-member congress,
changing FIFA’s ethics committee to split the investigation process from the
final decision making, and creating the solutions committee as a general
watchdog.

Opera great Placido Domingo, along with former US Secretary
of State Henry Kissinger and Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff, feature on the
new solutions committee.

"These gentlemen are more or less advisers," said
Blatter.

"What they should be also is the kind of council of
wisdom - which my executive committee would not like because they think they
are the council of wisdom."

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