Sepp Blatter believes 2022 World Cup should be stripped away from Qatar

Former Fifa president says tournament should be relocated to US

Emir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (R) and his wife Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al-Missned (C) receive the World Cup trophy from Fifa President Joseph Blatter after the official announcement that Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup on December 2, 2010 at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich.  AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZES / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZES

Sepp Blatter, the former Fifa president, says Qatar should be stripped of the 2022 World Cup.

The Swiss told German publication Bild it would be better for the Gulf state to be withdrawn as hosts, with the tournament going to the United States instead.

Last week, the US Department of Justice issued an indictment charging that Russia and Qatar paid bribes in order to secure votes ahead of being awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively.

The US were beaten by Qatar to the 2022 World Cup when the vote was made in 2010, when Blatter was Fifa president.

Blatter is serving a six-year ban from football-related activities due to ethics violations from his time in charge, but has pleaded his innocence.

"The USA has experience of 1994," Blatter told Bild.

Blatter had earlier suggested the 2022 tournament should go to Germany, but corrected himself after acknowledging the most recent World Cup, in 2018 in Russia, was also played in Europe.

"Japan is also a possibility, but I am thinking of the United States,” he said. “They are already organising the 2026 edition and already have the experience of 1994.”

The award of the 2022 tournament to Qatar has been the subject of heavy and persistent criticism, especially in that the finals had to be moved from their traditional summer slot for the first time to accommodate the stifling heat in the country. The tournament is scheduled for November 21 to December 18, 2022.

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