14 Jun 2016

Blatter claims hot and cold balls helped rig football draws

7:29 pm on 14 June 2016

The disgraced former head of football's world governing body FIFA, Sepp Blatter, says he's witnessed, but never personally engaged in, rigging of draws for football tournaments.

Blatter made the comments in an interview with the Argentine publication La Nacion, where the 80-year-old spoke about the practise of cooling and heating balls during a draw to sway the outcome.

La Nacion asked Blatter about the 2014 World Cup draw, which was extremely favourable for Argentina.

"The draw was clean down to the last detail," Blatter said.

"I never touched the balls, something that others did."

Dollar bills rain down on FIFA president Sepp Blatter, at a media conference in Zurich. A man posing as a journalist had thrown the money at him.

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter Photo: Photosport

"Of course it's possible that the balls can be hot or cold and signalled in that way," said Blatter.

Blatter then elaborated on how the cheating would actually work.

"Balls are put in the freezer before the draw, at the slightest touch you can tell if the balls are hot or cold. By touching them you know exactly what you have," he said.

Although admitting being a witness to such behaviour, Blatter sought to distance himself from it, pushing the blame onto European competitions.

"It doesn't happen in FIFA, but I've witnessed draws at European level where its happened, but never in FIFA," he said.

"Of course it can be done, but it never happened under my watch, never."

FIFA's ethics committee has banned Blatter from football for six years, but Blatter is appealing the decision.