23 Dec 2010

Blatter defends giving World Cup to Russia and Qatar

6:02 am on 23 December 2010

The FIFA president Sepp Blatter has defended the decision to award the football World Cup to Russia and Qatar, saying it was "natural" to spread the tournament around the world.

At the end of a significant year for world football's governing body in which the World Cup was held in Africa for the first time, Blatter says that the criticism the ruling body had received was not justified.

He says moves to make football a universal sport had started under his predecessor Joao Havelange.

Blatter says when he became the FIFA President, the decision was made to go into Asia and then Africa.

He says it's only natural that FIFA should keep on moving into new regions but he understands the disappointment of the losing candidates.