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Blatter wants World Cup final before December 18

Fifa president Sepp Blatter says he wants the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar to be played no later than December 18.

Earlier this month a Fifa task force recommended November-December dates for the 2022 Qatar World Cup following concerns about soaring summer temperatures.

UEFA has proposed playing the final at the tournament on December 23, just two days before Christmas, to lessen disruption to its own international matches.

That sparked uproar in Britain as it would threaten the traditional festive club programme.

Blatter, speaking for the first time since a FIFA task force confirmed November/December for the World Cup, said: "Not until the 23rd, definitely not. We have to stop at the 18th."

The FIFA president was speaking in Belfast ahead of a meeting of the International FA Board.

Fifa president Blatter: Uefa is weak

Sepp Blatter says he keeps being asked to run for Fifa president, as no one else in Uefa has the courage to do so.

The current president is running for his fifth term in office and is set to be challenged by Jerome Champagne, Prince Ali Bin Hussein of Jordan and former Tottenham winger David Ginola.

Sepp Blatter has hit out at Uefa. Credit: Reuters

"I have been asked by the national associations to be our candidate again because nobody that is strong was in. So I go there," Blatter told CNN.

"All those who want to get rid of me should come. All this opposition is coming now, it's unfortunate to say - but it's true - it's coming from Nyon, from Uefa. They don't have the courage to come in. So let me go (on) - be respectful."


Platini wants new FIFA president elected in 2015

FIFA's image has been damaged perhaps beyond repair. Credit: PA

Michel Platini does not believe Sepp Blatter should be re-elected as FIFA president next year.

Blatter came into power at football's world governing body in 1998, and is planning to stand for his fifth term in the 2015 elections, despite a string of allegations of corruption leaving FIFA's reputation in tatters.

"I supported him in 1998 because I think he was the right person at the time but after successive terms it is time to let some fresh air in and leave the place to someone else," UEFA president Platini said.

"The image of Fifa is very, very, very bad so that's why I think it would be good that Blatter stops, but I don't think he wants to."

Blatter to keep Russia and Ukraine apart at World Cup

Blatter will not allow Russia to play Ukraine in the 2018 World Cup group stages. Credit: PA

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has confirmed that Russia and Ukraine will be kept apart in the 2018 World Cup group stages should the Ukrainians qualify for the tournament.

Political tension between the neighbouring states continues to be high with Kiev accusing Moscow of backing Russian separatists in the east of Ukraine.

Blatter replied "you can be sure about this" when asked whether hosts Russia would be kept apart from Ukraine following a politically driven outbreak of violence during a recent match between Serbia and Albania.

Despite accepting the two nations should kept apart, Blatter has refused to support claims the tournament should not be played in Russia if the political climate is still volatile in 2018.

“A boycott never achieves anything and does not have a positive effect. FIFA is fully supporting the World Cup in Russia,” he said.


Platini: Blatter has stopped serving football

Platini has decided not to run against Blatter in next year's Fifa elections. Credit: PA

Michel Platini has hit out at Fifa president Sepp Blatter by saying he no longer serves the cause of football.

The current Uefa president has risked the wrath of Blatter, who has come under criticism recently for the decision to hand Qatar the 2022 World Cup.

Speaking to French sports daily L'Equipe, Platini said: “Sepp is not the president of Fifa anymore. He is Fifa."

“Platini, Pelé, Blatter, (former Fifa president Joao) Havelange must yield to the interests of football. One must not use football, but serve football.”

Blatter is set to stand for a fifth term as Fifa president at next year's elections, Platini had been touted as a challenger but opted to focus on his current role - a decision he insists he doesn't regret.

"It was not the time. I do not regret anything. One day maybe. We will see"

Platini wants secret World Cup report to be made public

Platini and Blatter disagree on publishing Garcia's report. Credit: PA

UEFA president Michel Platini has added his voice to calls for a secret report into World Cup bidding to be made public.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has rejected calls to publish the report by FIFA's independent investigator Michael Garcia - saying any decision is out of their hands and would threaten witness confidentiality.

Platini joins a number of fellow FIFA executive committee members including Northern Ireland's Jim Boyce - and Garcia himself - in calling for the report to be published.

The UEFA president said in a statement: "As long as the regulations of the FIFA code of ethics regarding the actual investigation are respected, I support the publishing of the Garcia report.

"I have no issue with the findings and recommendations of the report being made available to the public."

The decision to publish now rests German judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, who is considering the report and will announce his findings in November.

Russia won the bid for the 2018 World Cup and Qatar will stage the 2022 tournament.

Sepp Blatter: 'My mission is not finished'

Blatter said his mission is not finished Credit: Chris Young

Confirming he will stand for another term in a video interview played at the Soccerex conference in Manchester, Fifa President Seb Blatter said: "You see a mission is never finished. And my mission is not finished.

"Then I got through the last Congress in Sao Paulo not only the impression but the support of the majority, a huge majority of national associations asking 'Please go on, be our president also in future'."

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