Blatter blames political pressure
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.