Citing the size of the country, former FIFA president Sepp Blatter criticized the decision to award the upcoming World Cup to Qatar as a “mistake.”
He said that “Qatar is a mistake. It’s a county that’s too small. Football and the World Cup are too big for that”.
The employment of migrant workers is at the center of human rights concerns around the World Cup.
However, Qatar has faced criticism for the working and living conditions provided to migrant workers, which Amnesty International has likened to forced labor. The conditions have been blamed for workers’ injuries and deaths, with the death toll a subject of dispute.
Blatter’s criticism didn’t directly address the human rights concerns. He did reiterate that he believes that the United States should have been awarded World Cup, four years after Russia hosted in 2018.
“At the time, we actually agreed in the (FIFA) Executive Committee that Russia should get the 2018 World Cup and the USA that of 2022,” Blatter said. “It would have been a gesture of peace if the two long-standing political opponents had hosted the World Cup one after the other.”
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