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Blatter Slams Media Over Qatar World Cup Criticism

  • AFP, Tuesday, November 26, 2013 1:17 PM

Sepp Blatter on Monday condemned Europe’s media for relentlessly “attacking” 2022 World Cup host Qatar. Speaking at the Asian Football Confederation’s awards in Kuala Lumpur, the FIFA President defended the Arab country’s right to host the tournament. "It is not fair when the international media and especially European media are taking up the focus of an Arab country here in Asia, and attacking, criticizing this country," Blatter said. "We are defending it. We have taken the decision to play a World Cup in the Arab world and we have taken the decision to play in Qatar and we will go and play this. ... in 2022 in Qatar."

While Blatter received loud applause at the end of his speech, it did not go unnoticed by the European media that the FIFA President had as recently as last week criticized Germany and France for pushing Qatar’s bid to host the tournament to suit their “economic interests.” Blatter had also blamed European construction companies for doing business in the country after an Amnesty International report pointed out that migrant workers were being treated like “animals.” He called the conditions for these workers “unacceptable.”

Rights groups, meanwhile, have called for a boycott of the 2022 World Cup in the wake of Amnesty's report, which said workers suffered exploitation and hazardous conditions. Qatar, meanwhile, has called the allegations "exaggerated."

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