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Infantino defends himself after making the link between migration and the biennial Football World Cup – RT in French

The FIFA president said his remarks “seem to have been misinterpreted and taken out of context”, after a statement on the need to “give hope to Africans so that they do not have to cross the Mediterranean « .

On January 26, FIFA President Gianni Infantino seemed to establish a link between his plan for a World Cup every two years and the situation of migrants in the Mediterranean who must be « given hope », triggering a controversy that he tried to extinguish by evoking « misinterpreted » remarks.

It was a general comment, not directly related to the possibility of playing a World Cup every two years.

Gianni Infantino defended himself as follows in a text sent to AFP: « Since some of my remarks […] seem to have been misinterpreted and taken out of context, I would like to clarify that in my speech my more general message was that everyone in a position to make decisions has a responsibility to try to improve the situation of people in the world […] If there are more opportunities available, including in Africa, but of course not only in this continent, it should allow people to seize them in their own countries. It was a general comment, which was not directly related to the possibility of playing a World Cup every two years.

In Strasbourg, before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Gianni Infantino expressed himself in these terms: « I understand that in Europe, the World Cup takes place twice a week, because the best players play in Europe […] As Europeans, we cannot say to the rest of the world: « Give us your money and if by chance you have good players, give them to us too. And watch it all on TV! » We have to find a way to include the whole world to, for example, give hope to Africans so that they do not have to cross the Mediterranean to be able to perhaps have a better life here, but more probably the dead in the sea. We have to provide opportunity, and we have to provide dignity, not by doing charity, but by allowing the rest of the world to participate.”

Defended by Gianni Infantino, the hypothesis of a biennial competition – and no longer quadrennial – is fought by a front ranging from European and South American federations to the big clubs. But it enjoys the unanimous support of the 54 African federations.

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