Gary Neville has blasted FIFA president Gianni Infantino over his controversial speech on Saturday and has labelled him as ‘the worst face’ to represent the World Cup in Qatar.
Infantino made the headlines on Saturday after he made an hour-long speech in which he declared “today I feel Qatari, today I feel Arab, today I feel gay and today I feel a migrant worker.” Infantino also criticised the European’s criticism of Qatar.
"I don't have to defend Qatar they can defend themselves. I'm defending football and injustice."— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 19, 2022
FIFA president Gianni Infantino's opening statement as he addressed the media on the eve of the World Cup in Qatar ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/q1rzwx63YU
On Sunday, ahead of the curtain raiser between Qatar and Ecuador, former Manchester United defender Neville ripped into the FIFA president.
He said on beIN Sports: “I’ve been all around the world with Manchester United: to the Middle East, the Far East, to Asia, Africa and Australasia and there’s no doubt we should be taking football all around the world.
“But he’s a terrible face for football, that guy (Infantino). Some of the things he said yesterday were inappropriate and shouldn’t be said by him. He should be statesmanlike, he should be bringing people together, he’s the global representative of football, not answering to one or two nations which he seemed to be doing yesterday. He’s got to rise above it.”
Neville continued: “I’m sick of these leaders like (Boris) Johnson, (Donald) Trump, Infantino and (Sepp) Blatter – they don’t unite, they divide, all their language is about division, even though they think they’re bringing people together, they’re not.
“Some of his language yesterday about, ‘I’m a migrant worker, I’m disabled’ is an absolute scandal, he shouldn’t be using that type of language. He shouldn’t be using those phrases in my opinion.”
🗣"I'm sick of these leaders like Johnson, like Trump, like Infantino, like Blatter. They don't unite, they divide."— SPORTbible (@sportbible) November 20, 2022
🗣️"FIFA is a poor representation of what football is, a beautiful game..I think FIFA needs to clean up its act."@GNev2 not holding back!pic.twitter.com/PjTks9Jp16
The former England player then insisted that FIFA needs to clean up its act.
He added: “I think FIFA is a poor representation of what football is, which is a beautiful game enjoyed by communities from Brazil to Bury, from Bolivia to Peru, to everywhere. I have to say that FIFA needs to clean up its act.
“It’s been bad for so long and my personal feeling with Infantino is that he’s effectively put himself back into power for four years, there’s no independence.
“We’ve got to have independence and democracy. He elects himself back into position and I think he’s the worst face to represent the Middle East, Arabs, Muslims and the Qatar World Cup.”
Featured Image Credit: beIN Sports/Alamy
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