In an interview to Argentine newspaper La Nacion, disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has claimed that although FIFA never allowed such practices, a lot of European tournaments' draws have been rigged. However, Blatter stopped short of naming those competitions.
Distancing himself and FIFA from fixing draws, the former FIFA president suggested that under UEFA’s- the European governing body – watch, one team had benefited from the practice. The La Nacion, who were interviewing the former Swiss football administrator, specifically asked him about the draw for the 2014 World Cup, which seemed favourable for Argentina. Blatter replied, “The draw was clean down to the last detail. I never touched the balls, something that others did”.
“Of course it’s possible that they can be signaled, by heating or cooling them. It doesn’t happen in FIFA, but I’ve witnessed draws at European level where it has happened, but never in FIFA. Of course it can be done, but it never happened under my watch, never,” the Guardian reported him as saying to the newspaper.
Blatter then went on to explain how a draw could be fixed, the Guardian wrote. He said that the balls containing the names of the teams, are put in the freezer before the draw and then by touching them, it could be determined if the balls were hot or cold. “By touching them you know exactly what you have,” he said.
Sepp Blatter is now serving a six-year ban, along with former UEFA president Michael Plaitni, from all football-related activity after the FIFA Ethics Committee found him guilty of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation. He is appealing the sanctions through the court of arbitration for sport.
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