2022 World Cup: Awarding the tournament to Qatar was a mistake, says former FIFA president Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter joined Fifa as technical director in 1975 and was appointed president in 1998.

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

Blatter, 86, was president of world soccer’s governing body when he was awarded the Qatar tournament in 2010.

The Gulf state has been criticized for its stance on same-sex relationships, its human rights record and its treatment of migrant workers.

“It’s too small a country. Soccer and the World Cup are too big for that,” he told the Swiss newspaper daily scoreboardexternal link

Blatter said FIFA adjusted the criteria used to select host countries in 2012 after concerns were raised about the treatment of migrant workers building World Cup stadiums in Qatar.

“Since then, social issues and human rights have been taken into account,” he added.

Blatter spent 17 years as FIFA president, but was forced to step down in 2015 after paying former Uefa president Michel Platini two million Swiss francs ($2.19 million; £1.6 million). £1.6 million) due to allegations that he had illegally transferred them, he too was forced to resign. Position in Fifa.

Originally banned from football by FIFA for eight years, it was later reduced to six because of Platini’s payment. in March 2021 then he received an additional ban until 2028 For “several breaches” of FIFA’s codes of ethics.

Blatter and Platini were accused of fraud last November they were found not guilty at the trial held in Switzerland in July.

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

Qatar and Russia have always denied any wrongdoing, and both were effectively cleared by FIFA investigations in 2017.