Sepp Blatter declines BBC and Sky invitation to Fifa presidency debate

Sepp Blatter declines BBC and Sky invitation to Fifa presidency debate

Sepp Blatter declines BBC and Sky invitation to Fifa presidency debate



Sepp Blatter has loftily dismissed a joint invitation from the BBC and Sky to take part in a televised debate with his rivals for the Fifa presidency .

This article titled “” was written by Owen Gibson, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 18th March 2015 22.00 UTC

Sepp Blatter has loftily dismissed a joint invitation from the BBC and Sky to take part in a televised debate with his rivals for the Fifa presidency .

Sky and the BBC wrote to Blatter and his three rivals – the Portuguese former world footballer of the year, Luís Figo, the Jordanian Fifa vice-president, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, and the Dutch Football Association’s president, Michael van Praag – to extend the invitation this month.

The FA chairman, Greg Dyke, said he would “love to see a leaders’ debate” and offered to host it at Wembley. All three rival candidates were quick to back the plan but Blatter has, perhaps unsurprisingly, refused to take part.

When it made the invitation, Sky said in a statement: “We believe this will present an unprecedented opportunity for the candidates to set out their plans and communicate directly with fans from around the world. We hope for a positive response from all four candidates.”

Although plans were not fully formed, it was hoped that fans from all 209 Fifa members would submit questions to the four candidates via social media or the internet. But it is understood that Blatter refused even to engage with the idea and failed to respond by letter, instead asking an official to telephone the broadcasters to relay his decision.

The Fifa executive committee is gathering in Zurich this week to rubber-stamp the decision to move the 2022 World Cup in Qatar to winter.

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