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Sun 8 Feb 2015 01:32 PM

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FIFA chief warns Qatar against importing players for 2022 World Cup

Sepp Blatter describes Qatar’s team in the recent Men’s Handball World Championship as an 'absurdity'

FIFA chief warns Qatar against importing players for 2022 World Cup
FIFA president Sepp Blatter. (AFP/Getty Images)

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has warned Qatar against putting together a team of imported players for the 2022 World Cup.

Writing in the current issue of FIFA Weekly, Blatter described Qatar’s team in the recent Men’s Handball World Championship as an “absurdity”.

He said Qatar’s handball team, which contained players born in France, Spain, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cuba and Montenegro, contradicted the spirit of a national team.

“The nation of 2.2 million faces the huge challenge of forming a competitive national football team by 2022. However, this cannot be achieved by quickly naturalising players because unlike the IHF, FIFA does not allow this,” said Blatter.

Under its laws, the International Handball Federation (IHF) permits players to play for more than one country. FIFA rules state that a player has to have been born in a country, or have a mother, father, grandmother or grandfather born there, or have lived in a country for five years after 18 before qualifying to play.

“The fact that sport builds social bridges and brings cultures together cannot be stressed often enough. However, what happened at this year’s Men’s Handball World Championship in Qatar stretched this notion to the point of absurdity,” said Blatter.

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khalid 4 years ago

its called Globalization !

taff 4 years ago

Money buys you recognition ... and ridicule!

Canuck 4 years ago

Paying for people to build you cities and technology and infrastructure is one thing but if a nation wants to host an event, they need to be prepared to fulfill the requirements of it. No one else skips out of the responsibility even to the point of massive loss in matches....should be interesting. Well, 2 years to find skilled players to live in Qatar for 5 years. The UAE had a great team during the Asian Cup...Qatar should be able to train some young guys to, at least, keep up a bit with the international stars. Let's hope it's not a fully blue eyed blond team or a spanish speaking Qatar squad.

Abdul Rehman 4 years ago

Naturalizing / Importing Talent to achieve temporary goals for name & fame is contradicting national team spirit..... why don't Qatar start naturalizing the immigrant population locally within the state to solve this issue !!