MUNICH: Munich mayor Christian Ude has dismissed as “absurd” an assertion from FIFA president Sepp Blatter about his city’s defeat in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games bid race.
Blatter, in a major set-piece interview earlier this week with the European Sports Magazines group, had suggested that Munich lost because of negative comments about Africa from Bayern Munich boss Uli Hoeness.
Those comments, said Blatter, meant that Munich did not pick up any of the 12 African votes in the International Olympic Committee and opened the way for the South Korean resort of PyeongChang to win in the first round of voting at the IOC Session in Durban last year.
Ude has not always been onside with Hoeness who is now president of Bayern and was formerly a World Cup-winning (and Olympic) footballer.
However, asked for his reaction to Blatter’s comment, Ude said: “I think that is a very misleading suggestion. FC Bayern were deeply committed to out Olympics bid. The same applied to TSV 1860Munich and the entire German league – and Uli Hoeneß brought was very committed and involved on a personal level. That was clear during the visit of the evaluation commission of the IOC which they could not fail to have noted.
“Certainly Hoeness did make one little undiplomatic statement about which we were not very happy. Yet to link his comment about the staging of the World Cup in South Africa to our voting defeat in Durban by Pyeongchang would be incorrectly: an absurd accusation.
“You only need look at only the voting result [PyeongChang 63, Munich 25]. Even if we would have picked up all 12 African votes, Pyeongchang would still have been a clear winner.
“For me this is just a battle between football officials, using the Olympic bid as a weapon.”