Platini: Qatar World Cup choice was not a mistake

The Uefa president says he disagrees with Sepp Blatter over the 2022 hosting decision and refuses to rule himself out of the race to succeed the Swiss as Fifa chief
Michel Platini has set himself on collision course with Sepp Blatter by insisting that there was no mistake made in the awarding of the 2022 World Cup hosting rights to Qatar and admitting he could well join the race for the Fifa presidency in 2015.

The Uefa president was one of the most high-profile supporters of the Arab nation's bid to host the 22nd finals tournament, but his Fifa counterpart recently claimed that handing the World Cup to Qatar was an error amid concerns over weather problems and human rights issues.

"Yes, it was a mistake of course," Blatter told Swiss broadcaster RTS. "The technical report into Qatar said clearly it was too hot but the executive committee – with a large majority – decided all the same to play it in Qatar."

But now Platini has moved to defend the decision, saying he still believes he made the right choice during the voting process.

"I voted for Qatar. I don't see why I would say it's a mistake. I thought it was a good thing and I still think that," Platini insisted to BeIN Sport.

"But it's a poisoned chalice that we have given to Qatar because now they are in the eye of the hurricane. There are all these dangerous problems involving the workforce and Qatar is doing things about this. When you are exposed in this way there are many things to do.

"I think it is a gift laden with difficulties for Qatar. A nice present but now it's up to them to sort things out in the right way."

Platini went on to admit that he has still yet to decide whether he will run for Blatter's Fifa presidency when the 78-year-old's fourth term in office ends next year.

"I don't know and [others] can't know because I don't know myself. As I have always said, I will see after the World Cup. I will think about it," explained the 58-year-old.

"I am very happy at Uefa. It's fantastic, it's football, it's many things. After that I will see if I am a candidate for Fifa.

"Whether Blatter is going to seek re-election or not doesn't change anything. It's about what I want to do and how I want to do it. I will think about it calmly. I have time. But I did say that I would make a statement after the World Cup."

So far, only Platini's countryman Jerome Champagne has confirmed his intention to run in next year's Fifa elections, with Blatter expected to launch his candidacy at the next Fifa Congress in Sao Paulo on June 10-11.