England hold grudge over failed 2018 bid - Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter
Blatter was re-elected Fifa president for a fourth term in June

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has claimed English football holds a grudge against him because of the failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

Despite the support of Prince William and Prime Minister David Cameron, England lost out to Russia.

"They thought that football should have come home, [that] the World Cup was theirs by right," said Blatter.

"They got two votes. Since then, they have looked for every means to justify their defeat."

Speaking to Swiss newspaper Matin Dimanche, Blatter added: "In the 1960s and 70s, the great sporting federations were in the main British. It's no longer the case.

"The English have lost power and, most recently, the 2018 World Cup.

"They were very keen, more than for the Olympics.

"When they came with [former Manchester United midfielder and England international] David Beckham, Prince William and Prime Minister Cameron, they were certain of winning."

Blatter has had a frosty relationship with the Football Association in recent years.

When England were bidding for the 2006 World Cup, Blatter persuaded the FA to back his re-election.

Germany and South Africa ended up as the serious contenders, with the former winning the bid and the latter going on to win the right to host the 2010 tournament.

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Sepp Blatter: "It is part of my core values to respect all nations, all cultures and I see football as a game that unites people"

Blatter, 75, has faced criticism over the past year for his handling of the accusations of corruption in Fifa but was re-elected for a fourth term in June. The FA decided to abstain from the vote in light of the allegations.

Meanwhile, Blatter caused outrage and faced calls to step down when he said football does not have a problem with racism on the field and that any incidents should be settled by a handshake.

The Swiss later told the BBC that he was sorry for causing offence.

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