FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, has come under heavy backlash from Nigerians following his comments on Wednesday that hosting the World Cup can help save the lives of Africans migrating to Europe and dying on the Mediterranean, The PUNCH reports.
Infantino made the statement at the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe, a trans-national body dedicated to the support of human rights.
While defending the federationâ€™s proposal of hosting the World Cup every two years, Infantino suggested that a biennial world football showpiece could stop African migrants from â€œdying in the sea.â€
â€œThis topic is not about whether we want a World Cup every two years, but about what do we want to do for the future of football,â€ Infantino was quoted as saying by The Guardian, a UK publication.
â€œWe need to find ways to include the whole world to give hope to Africans so that they donâ€™t need to cross the Mediterranean in order to find maybe a better life but, more probably, death in the sea.â€
The FIFA bossâ€™ statement sparked reactions from Nigerians, who hit out at the 51-year-old for making such a derogating statement about Africans.
Former England player of Nigerian descent, John Fashanu, told The PUNCH, â€œSuch a statement is an insult, which you donâ€™t expect to hear from someone like him. It is disappointing that it is coming from someone like him who is successful.