"It Was A Mistake To Award The 2022 World Cup To Qatar"... Says former FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

Former President of FIFA Sepp Blatter admits that the decision to award Qatar the World Cup was a "mistake".

The 86-year-old Swiss was FIFA president in 2010 when its executive committee controversially voted for the World Cup to be held in Russia and Qatar in 2018 and 2022 respectively. 

But Blatter claims he did not vote for Qatar and instead wanted a "gesture of peace" by hosting the two tournaments in Russia and then the United States, Australia, Japan, South Korea all of whom launched bids to secure the competition.

The controversial FIFA president finally acknowledged the thoughts of many by revealing a poor decision was made when granting the Asian nation the summer tournament.

Qatar has since been criticised for its stance on same-sex relationships, human rights record and treatment of migrant workers.

Another issue as the tournament approaches is concern about how the LGBT tourists are treated in Qatar, where officials have reportedly arbitrarily arrested and mistreated LGBT people. The promotion of same-sex relationships are criminalised, with punishments ranging from fines to the death sentence.

The country's World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman has said that homosexuality is "damage in the mind".

In an interview with German public broadcaster ZDF. He added that being gay is “haram” forbidden in Arabic and that he has a problem with children seeing gay people. They should "accept our rules".

"The choice of Qatar was a mistake," Blatter said in an interview with Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, his first since being cleared of fraud charges in July following a £1.7m payment to the former UEFA president Michel Platini.

Blatter says he voted for the United States to host the 2022 tournament and blames then-UEFA president Platini for swinging the vote in Qatar’s favour at the behest of then-French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

"At the time, we actually agreed in the executive committee that Russia should get the 2018 World Cup and the USA that of 2022. It would have been a gesture of peace if the two long-standing political opponents had hosted the World Cup one after the other.

"It's too small a country. Football and the World Cup are too big for that."

"I can only repeat: the award to Qatar was a mistake, and I was responsible for that as president at the time," he said.

Qatar and Russia have always denied any wrongdoing, and both were effectively cleared by Fifa's own investigation in 2017.

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar, would be the first to be hosted in the Middle East in the tournament's 92-year-history and the first during the Northern Hemisphere winter.

It's the smallest host by size since the 1954 tournament took place in Switzerland, Qatar will host 32 teams that will play 64 games in eight stadiums in and around Doha. 

It begins from 20 November to 18 December, 2022. Over a million visitors are expected, but many will commute from neighboring countries because of limited places to stay in Qatar.

Blatter spent 17 years as Fifa president but was forced to step down in 2015 over allegations he unlawfully arranged a transfer of two million Swiss francs ($2.19m; £1.6m) to Platini, who was also forced to resign from his position at Fifa.

He was originally banned from football by Fifa for eight years, later reduced to six, over the Platini payment. In March 2021 he then received an additional ban until 2028 for "various violations" of Fifa's code of ethics.

Blatter and Platini were charged with fraud last November but were found not guilty at a trial in Switzerland in July.


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