Zurich, June 14 (IANS) World football’s governing body FIFA’s former president Sepp Blatter has sensationally claimed that some European draws were fixed using “hot and cold balls”.
However, he has stated during his long tenure as the FIFA president none of the draws at the world level were pre-decided.
“I never touched the balls,” Blatter was quoted as saying by Argentine newspaper La Nacion on Monday.
“Of course, you can mark them (by) heating them or cooling them.”
“I witnessed draws at the European level where that happened. But never at FIFA. Of course it can be done.”
Blatter said some of the balls were stored in the refrigerator to differentiate between the teams.
“You put the balls in the refrigerator beforehand. Just by comparing one and the other when you touch them you can tell the cold balls from the hot. When you touch them, you know what they are.”
When questioned about the corruption probe by Swiss and US investigators, he said: “Blatter isn’t corrupt. They tried to find something on me, but they won’t find any evidence I violated any Swiss law.”
“FIFA isn’t corrupt. An organisation can’t be corrupt. Only men are.”
European football’s governing body UEFA dismissed Blatter’s claims on Tuesday.
“Allegations that UEFA has in the past fixed draws for its competitions are completely absurd and therefore not worth a reaction,” a UEFA spokesman was quoted as saying by Sky Sports News.
Blatter has been handed a six-year ban from FIFA for corruption. He is appealing the verdict.