Former German president Christian Wulff has denied claims made by Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, that he tried to exert political pressure before the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively.

Blatter, who will soon step down as head of football’s governing body in the wake of the corruption investigation into the decision to hold the World Cup in the two countries, had alleged political interference in the voting process.

The 79-year-old Swiss claimed in an interview in German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that Wulff and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy had tried to influence their representatives before the ballot held in December 2010

“Therefore, we now have a World Cup in Qatar. The people who decided this should also take responsibility,” Blatter was quoted as saying.

However, Wulff’s office issued a short statement on Monday, denying the claims.

“The statement by Mister (Sepp) Blatter regarding former President Christian Wulff is false,” it said.

There was no immediate reaction from Sarkozy’s office, but UEFA chief Michel Platini has repeatedly said that nobody had asked him to vote for Qatar.

“Neither Sarkozy nor anyone,”
he told the newspaper L’Equipe a year ago.

Blatter announced in June that he would step down as FIFA president after an election that is expected to take place late this year or early next year.