Sepp Blatter on Qatar’s case

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has vowed to hold “a very interesting discussion” with the new Qatari Emir to help clear up some of the controversies surrounding the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar’s hosting has been plagued with problems, including the searing summer temperatures when the finals are currently scheduled to take place, but also the allegations of human-rights abuses among the largely migrant workforce. 

Workers at construction sites have alleged abuse, with even some deaths being reported. 

Trade union leaders have urged FIFA to deal with the labour issues, and Blatter has vowed to speak to the Qataris.

Blatter will visit Qatar later this month, and yesterday told FIFA’s official site: “I am mandated by the executive committee of FIFA to visit the new Emir of the state of Qatar, and it is in connection with the 2022 World Cup.

“There are some social problems linked with working activities there. There are also sporting problems.

“So I will have a very interesting discussion with him and report to the executive committee on 4th or 5th of December.”

Emir Tamim Bin Hamad took up his position in June of this year – when his father handed over power – and Blatter, never slow to offer fulsome praise when the wealthy and powerful are involved, wasted little time getting onside with the non-elected head of state.

“I am looking forward to continued excellent relations between FIFA and Qatar as we work towards the 2022 World Cup in your country”, Blatter said at the time.

“I hope to have the opportunity to congratulate you soon in person.”