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Blatter denies exerting pressure over 2006 World Cup venue

Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, denies trying to influence the 2006 World Cup vote Keystone

The Swiss president of Fifa, Sepp Blatter, has again denied reports he tried to influence last week's decision by the Fifa executive committee on which country would stage the 2006 World Cup.

Blatter, who was known to have favoured South Africa, told a German newspaper he had never tried to exert pressure on members of the 24-person executive.

He dismissed as a “fairy tale” reports that he held a pre-dawn meeting with Asian members of the executive on the day the vote was taken. He said he was in bed at the time.

Germany edged South Africa for the right to stage the championships, in the ballot of the executive committee in Zurich. Germany won by one vote, after an executive member from Oceania, mandated to back South Africa, decided to abstain.

A tie would have left Blatter with the casting vote.

Blatter, meanwhile, has proposed changes to the voting procedure, in the wake of the controversy that surrounded last week’s decision. His proposals are to be discussed by the Fifa executive in August.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR