FIFA president Gianni Infantino sparked outrage Wednesday after claiming plans to hold the World Cup every two years could stop African migrants from suffering "death in the sea."
Infantino was speaking at a parliamentary assembly session for the Council of Europe, a collective dedicated to the support of human rights, about promoting inclusiveness in the European-dominant landscape of football.
"Football is … about opportunities, about hope, about national teams, about the country, about the heart, about the joy, about the emotion. And we cannot say to the rest of the world, give us your money … but watch us on TV. We need to include them," Infantino said.
"We need to find ways to include the entire world to give hope to Africans so that they don't need to cross the Mediterranean in order to find maybe a better life but, more probably, death in the sea.
"We need to give opportunities and we need to give dignity. Not by giving charity but by allowing the rest of the world as well to participate. Now, maybe the World Cup every two years is not the answer. We discuss it. We debate it."