Sepp Blatter: European competition draws were rigged using "hot and cold balls"

 
Joe Hall
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Blatter: "With my magic, I could do anything" (Source: Getty)

Disgraced former Fifa president Sepp Blatter has alleged draws for Uefa competitions were rigged using "hot and cold balls".

Blatter insisted no draw for a Fifa event was fixed during his 18 year presidency — although he admitted he had the power to do so — but claims he witnessed the practise at European level.

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"Of course it is technically possible. This did not happen in Fifa but I have been witness to draws at the level of Europe, at which it happened," Blatter told Argentinian newspaper La Nacion.

"Before the draw you put the balls in the freezer. Then when you touch them you can determine which ones are cold or hot. By touching them you know what you have."

The 80-year-old Swiss national is currently serving a six-year ban from football activity after a 2011 payment he made to ex-Uefa boss Michel Platini was judged to have been in breach of Fifa's code of conduct.

Fifa's reputation as an international governing body was trashed during Blatter's time in charge. The organisation remains the subject of a corruption probe from the Swiss Attorney General and US Department of Justice. Yesterday it lost auditor KPMG, which stood down.

Yet Blatter asserted there was no corruption in the draws for its competitions and made specific allegations against Artemio Franchi, Uefa president from 1973-83.

"There was only one person who had that power in Europe," Blatter told Argentinian newspaper La Nacion. "Artemio Franchi used to do that for the club tournament draws.

"I did not do that for the World Cup in 1978. But with my magic, I could do anything. Once again, I am joking. The draw was honest down to the last detail.

"I never touched the balls, something that other people did. Of course, you can rig them by making them hot or cold."

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