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‘World Cup boycott would be pointless’

29The FIFA chief said at a UEFA congress that snubbing Russia and Qatar should not be considered, arguing that such gestures never work.

Sepp Blatter has told the UEFA Congress it would be pointless to contemplate boycotting either of the next two World Cups, reports Gpal.com.

The FIFA president, addressing the European governing body ahead of his bid for re-election at the May 29 poll, claimed that soccer must remain united amid calls from politicians and lawmakers for the tournaments in Russia and Qatar to be jettisoned over human rights issues and corruption claims.

Blatter told the annual congress in Vienna: “Football should be united, sport should be united when it comes to boycotts. Boycotts have never had any results … we have to go there.”

While the 79-year-old did not mention his bid for a fifth term as FIFA president, he did tell UEFA members — including fellow presidential candidate Michael van Praag — that he still hopes to be part of a soccer community that helps deal with the world’s non-soccer issues.

That follows his recent claims that a World Cup in Russia would solve problems in that country and beyond.

“A World Cup in Russia will be able to stabilize all the situations in this region of Europe,” he said recently at a FIFA press conference. “I am sure that football is stronger than any other movement.”

Michel Platini, a longtime vocal opponent of Blatter’s, will be confirmed as UEFA president for a third term during the ordinary congress. And the FIFA chief has praised the Frenchman for his impact on the game, adding: “I’d like to express thanks to UEFA and Platini for their remarkable contribution to football development.”