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FIFA secretary general on 'political' decisions

  • AFP, Monday, December 6, 2010 3 PM

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke defended the world body's "political" decisions to award the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 event to Qatar. "It's a political decision to open up onto the world," he said. "It was the same thing with (2010) hosts South Africa.

"We have eight years till Russia hosts it with a huge commitment on the part of (Prime Minister Vladimir) Putin and 12 for Qatar, who have huge resources."

Valcke admitted that "as regards the heat in Qatar, the fears are legitimate but there will be air conditioning systems."

"Russia deserves it and Qatar will be an interesting story," said Valcke. "The Middle East is part of the football family."

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