Blat­ter blames po­lit­i­cal pres­sure

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

CHILEAN goal­keeper Clau­dio Bravo ( right) saved a penalty and striker Alexis Sanchez con­verted the win­ning kick as the Copa Amer­ica hosts beat Ar­gentina 4- 1 to fi­nally win their first ma­jor ti­tle. The teams drew the fi­nal 0- 0 through ex­tra time and Ar­gentina’s Gon­zalo Higuain sent his shootout penalty over the cross­bar be­fore Bravo stopped Ever Banega’s low shot. Chile con­verted all their penal­ties for a ti­tle that re­warded the na­tion’s best gen­er­a­tion of play­ers in years, watched by 50,000 Chileans who packed the Es­ta­dio Na­cional. The loss ex­tended Ar­gentina’s and Lionel Messi’s ti­tle drought. FIFA pres­i­dent Sepp Blat­ter said that French and Ger­man pres­i­dents ap­plied po­lit­i­cal pres­sure be­fore the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Rus­sia and Qatar. Blat­ter said “there were two po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ven­tions” from for­mer French pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Sarkozy and Ger­man coun­ter­part Chris­tian Wulff be­fore the hosts were an­nounced in 2010. “Messrs Sarkozy and Wulff tried to in­flu­ence their vot­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives. That’s why we now have a World Cup in Qatar. Those who de­cided it should take re­spon­si­bil­ity for it,” said Blat­ter, who said he was tired of tak­ing the blame for some­thing he had no con­trol over.

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