Blatter hits back in Qatar World Cup 2022 row
FIFA boss Sepp Blatter on Friday hit back at criticism over work conditions on World Cup venues in Qatar, accusing European companies and saying France and Germany pushed the Qatari bid for "economic interests".sports Updated: Nov 22, 2013 20:51 IST
FIFA boss Sepp Blatter on Friday hit back at criticism over work conditions on World Cup venues in Qatar, accusing European companies and saying France and Germany pushed the Qatari bid for "economic interests".
In a report this week, Amnesty International said migrant workers were being treated like "animals" and urged FIFA to press Qatar to improve the conditions of foreign labourers, most of them from South Asia.
However Blatter said the blame lay squarely with the European companies operating in the Gulf State.
"The big companies working there are European companies, most of them. The constructor is responsible for the workers," Blatter told reporters in Rome, adding that FIFA "deplored" the situation in Qatar.
"The Europeans are unhappy but it was pressure from European countries that brought this World Cup to Qatar because there were so many economic interests," he said.
"Two of these countries that made pressure are France and Germany... European politicians and heads of state of these countries should say what they think of the situation. It can't all be on FIFA," he added.
The Gulf emirate, which rejects claims of slavery-style conditions in what is one of the world's wealthiest nations per capita, said it would include the findings in an inquiry it has already launched.
Following Amnesty's report, FIFA has already called for Qatar to take concrete steps by March to resolve the issue and Blatter called the situation "unacceptable".