FIFA president Gianni Infantino says he was ‘misrepresented’ in a backpeddle on his claims that holding a World Cup every two years would help prevent African migrants from dying at sea by ‘giving them hope’
- FIFA president Gianni Infantino made his comments in a speech on Wednesday
- Infantino has now claimed that his remarks were ‘taken out of context’
- Infantino was giving a speech about hosting a World Cup every two years
FIFA president Gianni Infantino has attempted to clarify remarks made in a speech about a biennial World Cup by drawing parallels to African migrants dying at sea.
Speaking at to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Wednesday, Infantino said: ‘We need to find ways to include the entire world, to give hope to Africans so that they don’t need to cross the Mediterranean in order to find, maybe, a better life, but more probably death in the sea.
‘We need to give opportunities and we need to give dignity, not by giving charity, but by allowing the rest of the world as well to participate.’
FIFA president Gianni Infantino says a biennial World Cup could help reduce migration
Infantino, pictured here giving the FIFA Best award to Cristiano Ronaldo said ‘we need to give opportunities and we need to give dignity by allowing the rest of the world to participate’
Now, Infantino has claimed his comments were misrepresented.
‘Given that certain remarks made by me before the Council of Europe appear to have been misinterpreted and taken out of context, I wish to clarify that, in my speech, my more general message was that everyone in a decision-making position has a responsibility to help improve the situation of people around the world,’ he said in a statement.
‘If there are more opportunities available, including in Africa, but certainly not limited to that continent, this should allow people to take these opportunities in their own countries.
‘This was a general comment, which was not directly related to the possibility of playing a FIFA World Cup every two years.’
Infantino’s plans for a World Cup every two years have been fiercely opposed in Europe and South America.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has spoken out against plans for a World Cup every two years
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp slated the plans, saying: ‘There’s no other sport in the world with such a relentless calendar. We all know why it’s happening. Whatever people say that it’s about giving different countries opportunities, in the end it’s all about money.
‘That’s fine. But in the end, at one point somebody has to start understanding that without the players – the most important ingredients of this wonderful game – we cannot play it.’
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) – football’s governing body in Africa – supports the plans.