PARIS: UEFA president Michel Platini has reiterated that he received no direct request from Nicolas Sarkozy to vote for Qatar in the contrioversial 2022 World Cup vote by the FIFA exco in December 2010.
Platini, a leading advocate for a winter switch of the finals, has never made any secret that he voted for the Gulf state after having been reported, originally, as favouring a rival bid from the United States.
Speculation has continued to swirl around his meeting at the Elysees Palace with the then French President and the Emir of Qatar.
Platini, according to francsjeux.com, has insisted that he had no prior warning that the Emir and the Prime Minister would be present when he was ‘invited’ by Sarkozy.
He said: “I received a phone call from the President of the French Republic. On arriving I met the Emir and the Prime Minister of the state. Nobody had told me about their presence.
“We dined together but, I repeat, just as no-one told me that they would be there, so President Sarkozy has never asked me that Qatar should be host country of the 2022 World Cup.
“I can inderstand that Sarkozy was interested in seeing Qatar host the World Cup but he never asked that of me.”
Platini was responding after recent comments by FIFA president Sepp Blatter about ‘political pressure’ exerted in the draw process by the governments of both France and Germany.