BERLIN (Reuters) - Bayern Munich boss Uli Hoeness’s criticism of the 2010 soccer World Cup in South Africa was partly to blame for Munich’s failure to land the 2018 winter Olympics last year, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said.
“In the run-up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Uli Hoeness and company were running the event down, it was difficult to top that,” world soccer boss Blatter told kicker magazine on Monday.
He said African soccer boss Issa Hayatou had told World Cup winner and former senior FIFA member Franz Beckenbauer, who had flown to Durban just before the IOC vote to shore up support for Munich, not to expect African help because of Hoeness’s sharp criticism.
“He told (Beckenbauer) ‘you should not count on any African vote. We have not forgotten the way you tried to destroy the World Cup’,” said Blatter, who was re-elected for a fourth FIFA term in 2011.
“And this is what happened. Without the 12 African votes there is no way you can win Olympic Games.”
Pyeongchang won the IOC election for the 2018 winter Games with 63 votes, compared to Munich’s 25 and Annecy’s seven.
Bayern president Hoeness had been a fierce critic prior to the 2010 World Cup, saying the decision to award it to South Africa was “one of the biggest wrong decisions he (Blatter) ever made”, because of security and general infrastructure concerns.
The World Cup was viewed by most pundits as a success.
Hoeness and Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge have also been critical of Blatter, under intense scrutiny in recent months over a string of corruption scandals.