BERLIN: Christian Wulff, former President of Germany, has refuted a claim by FIFA president Sepp Blatter that he tried to exert political pressure before the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar.

Blatter, who has said he will step down within months as head of the world football federation, had made the claim in a weekend interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

He bracketed Wulff together with former French president Nicolas Sarkozy in trying to influence their representatives before the ballot held in December 2010

Wulff’s office has issued issued a short statement of denial, saying: “The statement by Mr Blatter regarding former President Christian Wulff is false.”

There has been no reaction from Sarkozy’s office though but UEFA president Michel Platini has repeatedly said that he made his own decision to vote for Qatar.