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World Cup 2022: Awarding Qatar the event was a mistake, says former Fifa president Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter first joined Fifa as technical director in 1975 and was voted president in 1998

Former Fifa president Sepp Blatter says the choice to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar was a “mistake”.

Blatter, 86, was president of world soccer’s governing physique when Qatar was awarded the event in 2010.

The Gulf state has been criticised for its stance on same-sex relationships, human rights document and therapy of migrant staff.

“It is too small of a country. Football and the World Cup are too big for it,” he informed Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger.external-link

The Qatar World Cup, the primary to be hosted within the Middle East within the event’s 92-year-history and the primary throughout the Northern Hemisphere winter, takes place from 20 November to 18 December.

Blatter stated Fifa had adjusted the factors used to pick out host nations in 2012 after issues had been raised concerning the therapy of migrant staff constructing World Cup stadiums in Qatar.

“Since then, social considerations and human rights are taken into account,” he added.

Blatter spent 17 years as Fifa president however was compelled to step down in 2015 over allegations he unlawfully organized a switch of two million Swiss francs ($2.19m; £1.6m) to former Uefa president Michel Platini, who was additionally compelled to resign from his place at Fifa.

He was initially banned from soccer by Fifa for eight years, later diminished to 6, over the Platini fee. In March 2021 he then acquired a further ban till 2028 for “various violations” of Fifa’s code of ethics.

Blatter and Platini had been charged with fraud final November however had been discovered not responsible at a trial in Switzerland in July.

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The choice to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively has been dogged by accusations of widespread corruption, with two investigations launched by Swiss prosecutors and the US Department of Justice in 2015.

Qatar and Russia have at all times denied any wrongdoing, and each had been successfully cleared by Fifa’s personal investigation in 2017.

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