Blatter defends Qatar, says criticism is unfair
Fifa president disapproves of the European criticism against Qatar and describes it as 'unfair'
FIFA President Sepp Blatter defended under-fire 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar on Tuesday and said criticism of the tiny Gulf country from European media was unfair.
Qatar has been beset by problems, with Amnesty International criticising the treatment of migrant workers in the country, while the unresolved issue of whether to host the tournament in the European summer or winter has caused more angst for Blatter and the hosts.
International players' union FIFPro has also been critical and urged Blatter to act in the case of a French player who says he is being prevented from leaving Qatar over a contract dispute with his club.
"It is not fair when the international media, and especially European media, are taking up the focus of an Arab country here in this, Asia, by attacking, attacking, criticizing this country. We are defending it," Blatter told delegates at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.
"We are defending it. We have taken a decision to play a World Cup in the Arabic world and we have taken the decision to play in Qatar and we will go and play this... in 2022 in Qatar."