Sepp Blatter admits some tournament draws "at European level" were rigged

The ex-president of FIFA stated that some draws in the past had been predetermined by setting up

BY Adrian Collins 10:17 Tuesday 14 June 2016, 10:17 14 Jun 2016

Picture by: Adam Davy / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Since being banned by FIFA, Sepp Blatter has been enjoying his time off by speaking mostly about football and generating headlines with his comments. 

When he hasn't been warning new president Gianni Infantino that he's likely to lose all his friends now that he's in charge of the organisation, or claiming that he was overthrowing leaders, he's been stirring the pot by saying that there's some validity to an old conspiracy theory about rigged draws. 

Speaking to Argentine paper La Nación, Blatter said that he had been present at draws where the technique of heating and cooling the balls was used, to let those performing the selection know which ones to choose.

Speaking about the selection process for the World Cup in 2014, Blatter was asked if he had the power to give a favourable draw to the albiceleste if he and Argentine Football Association (AFA) president Julio Grondona were on good terms, and the ability to do the opposite if they were fighting. 

"There was only one person who had the power to do that in Europe," said Blatter. "[The ex-president of UEFA] Artemio Franchi did it for club tournaments. I didn't do it for the World Cup in '78, but I did everything with my magic. Again. that's a joke, the draw was clean down to the very last detail.

"I never touched the balls, others did though. Of course, you can clearly signal what ones to pick by heating them up or cooling them." 

Further pressed on the issue, Blatter admitted that it was of course, technically possible to do it, but that "it never happened in FIFA, but I witnessed draws, at the European level, at which it went on. But never in FIFA. Of course you can do it, but in my case it never happened, never."

Blatter added that it was done in those cases by putting some of the balls from the draw in the freezer. 

Via La Nación

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