Switzerland: F. FIFA President Blatter skeptical about boycotting WC in Russia

Joseph Blatter, former FIFA President: “No, I am not so sure if in the end they are not coming. I am not so sure. We will see if by any chance the FA team, England, will do well and is going to the quarter-final or the final, then the people in London, they will be there in their chairs and they will say: 'We have to go'. And to announce and boycott a competition because of the geopolitical... Еще situation in the world...Let football bring people together. And I’m sure that this World Cup will be exceptional, good World Cup on the field of play, but also for the image for FIFA and the image of Russia to show that they are able to organise the World Cup. But Russia has been in the past years now, so much under pressure, but there was never, I would say, a very concrete demand that the World Cup should not be played there. I think it is also when politicians, when I speak about the intervention, political part or FIFA as actors in politics. Although they don’t like that the World Cup is in Russia, they were thinking twice or three times to say: 'No, we should not go there, we should boycott it'. No, that would not be good, because it’s not only the football; it’s a powerhouse there. It is Russia, a powerhouse, and here football and politics are together, it’s the World Cup that gives now Russia more power, and this powerhouse cannot be just boycotted. And if they are not there, they have lost something.” Sophie Shevardnadze: “Who?” Joseph Blatter: «I have four teams, but I don’t put them in one to four, I put them together.» Sophie Shevardnadze: «Just four favorites, who are they?» Joseph Blatter: «The four teams are — alphabetical — Brazil, France, Germany, Spain.» Sophie Shevardnadze: «No Argentina?» Joseph Blatter: «No.» *JUMP CUT AT SOURCE* Former FIFA President Joseph Blatter expressed his concerns about the role of politics in football following the decision of six countries to boycott the World Cup in Russia, stating that football should bring people together, as he spoke from Zurich in an interview aired on Monday. “It’s the World Cup that gives now Russia more power, and this powerhouse cannot just be boycotted. And if they are not there, they have lost something”, he said. Blatter said that he was very glad to be invited to Russia and that he would not be rooting for one particular team. The former FIFA President shared his view about what he believes are the four strongest teams, Brazil, France, Germany and Spain.

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