Human rights issues will be a key criteria when assessing future bids to host the FIFA World Cup, according to Sepp Blatter, the president of football's governing body.
According to comments published by the Independent newspaper, Blatter, who is facing a re-election contest in May, said the move is part of his plans to modernise the Zurich-based organisation.
The news follows criticism of the human rights record of 2022 hosts Qatar, the paper said.
It quoted Blatter as saying: “I will tell you, that human rights and other rights will be part of the basic conditions to organise the competition. That will be new for the next World Cup – the World Cup 2026.”
Qatar’s poor human rights record was not considered by FIFA when, in 2010, the Gulf state were controversially awarded the 2022 tournament. Human rights groups have since revealed that workers are toiling for little pay in unsafe and insanitary conditions.
Blatter admitted that FIFA had learned some valuable lessons from the process of voting for two World Cups - 2018 and 2022 – in one sitting.
“2 December 2010, I will never forget this date where we have made the decision for two World Cups, which was wrong,” he was quoted as saying.
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