Sepp Blatter was forced to retract comments he made regarding the issue raised over the decision to host the World Cup 2022 in a country where homosexuality is illegal. In a supposedly jovial retort the FIFA President suggested that the gay fans travelling to the event should ‘refrain from any sexual activity’.
Blatter was forced to apologise in a statement to journalists in Abu Dhabi after the comments received an angry reaction from many gay rights groups.
Juris Lavrikovs, the communications director for the European branch of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, said the comments were “very unfortunate and have left people deeply offended” and said “we are talking about a very basic human right that is being violated.”
Blatter attempted to diffuse the tension stating: “It was not my intention and never will be my intention to go into any discrimination. This is exactly what we are against. If somebody feels that they have been hurt, then I regret it and present apologies.”