Blatter dismisses Qatar fears

13 December 2010 09:00

Sepp Blatter is confident social and religious barriers can be overcome despite fears being raised over the staging of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Drinking alcohol in public is forbidden under Islamic law in the Middle Eastern country, while bars and nightclubs are almost non-existent. Another issue could be public affection, and gay groups fear problems in a country where homosexuality is illegal.

"We are definitely living in a world of freedom and I'm sure when the World Cup will be in Qatar in 2022, there will be no problems," said Blatter.

"You see in the Middle East the opening of this culture, it's another culture because it's another religion, but in football we have no boundaries.

"We open everything to everybody and I think there shall not be any discrimination against any human beings be it on this side or that side, be it left, right or whatever."

He added: "I they want to watch a match somewhere in Qatar 2022, I'm sure they will be admitted to such matches."

Blatter feels there is still plenty of time between now and then to sort out any problems that may arise and appealed for calm.

He continued: "I think there is too much concern for a competition that will be done only in 12 years.

"But this gives me the opportunity to say that in FIFA, and this is in the statutes of FIFA, whether it is in politics, whether it is in religion, we don't want racism, and we know what this means, and neither do we want discrimination.

"What we want is just to open this game to everybody and open it to all cultures and this is what we are doing in 2022."

Source: PA