Blatter apologises for remarks about gay fans

ABU DHABI Fri Dec 17, 2010 5:05pm IST

FIFA President Sepp Blatter speaks during a news conference at the Club World Cup in Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi December 17, 2010. REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed

FIFA President Sepp Blatter speaks during a news conference at the Club World Cup in Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi December 17, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Fahad Shadeed

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - FIFA president Sepp Blatter apologised on Friday for saying gay football fans should "refrain from sexual activities" if they planned to go to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Gay groups have called for the head of the world soccer governing body to either apologise or resign after his comments this week. Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar.

"I will not enter into such a discussion but I will just say here if I hurt a group of people in the world by making those comments then I regret it," Blatter told a news conference.

"It was not my intention and it will never be my intention to go into any discrimination because this is exactly what we (FIFA) are against, so therefore if somebody feels they have been hurt, then I regret and I present apologies for that."

Qatar was awarded the World Cup this month ahead of Australia, the United States, Japan and South Korea.

(Editing by John Mehaffey; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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