ZURICH, SWITZERLAND—With continued controversy surrounding the awarding of the 2022 World Cup, fresh reports of bribery and corruption surfaced Friday after it was revealed that the tournament had been moved from original host country Qatar to the backyard of billionaire business mogul Richard Branson. “The decision to move the World Cup was made solely in the best interests of the sport, and these recent accusations of wrongdoing are simply not true,” FIFA president Sepp Blatter said in response to the allegations, staunchly denying claims that officials from soccer’s international governing body received millions of dollars in kickbacks to host the tournament on Branson’s 2.7-million-square-foot backyard in the remote British Virgin Islands. “In the 84-year history of this competition, the World Cup has never been held on the personal property of Richard Branson, and it will do wonders for growing the sport of football in that region of the world. Sadly, these are all baseless reports intended merely to disrupt our plan to bring the World Cup to new and exciting places.” Before departing the press conference, Blatter then quickly added that the tournament will also be renamed the Branson Cup and broadcast exclusively aboard Virgin Atlantic aircraft.
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