Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes pulled no punches towards Qatar hosting the forthcoming World Cup amid concerns over human rights issues in the country.
Qatar, who won the World Cup bid back in 2010, has been under scathing criticism over LGBT+ rights and workers who have died in building stadiums for the tournament.
Qatar, who are the first country from the Middle East to host FIFA’s prestigious tournament, will kick off the 2022 World Cup on Sunday against Ecuador.
Fernandes and United teammates Cristiano Ronaldo and Diogo Dalot will be representing Portugal at the forthcoming winter World Cup.
However, the Portugal midfielder made it abundantly clear that he was “not happy” about the people who have died in the construction of the stadiums in Qatar.
Joined by Christian Eriksen, who will represent Denmark at the World Cup, Fernandes told Sky Sports: “We’ve seen the surroundings over the past few weeks and months and about people who have died on the construction of the stadiums. We are not happy for that.
“We want football to be for everyone and get everyone included and involved in the World Cup.
“It’s the World Cup, it’s for everyone. Doesn’t matter who. These kinds of things I think should not happen at any time.
“But for a World Cup that is more than football, it’s a party for fans and players, and a joy to watch, should be done in a better way.”
Eriksen added: “I’ve worked hard for the World Cup and can’t wait for it. It’s been mentioned a lot.
“No matter where it is, it’s football. We’ve qualified, and we’re just going to play football.
Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes will represent Portugal at the upcoming World Cup in Qatar. Credit: Alamy“I totally agree with Bruno. There’s a lot of focus on it, how the World Cup has happened and why it’s in Qatar. It hasn’t gone the right way.
“We are footballers, politics is about something above us to make that decision. We try to say our thing and do what we can. We want to get focused on it but the change has to come from somewhere else.”
Fernandes’ classy post-match interview earned him praise from fans on social media after he highlighted the migrant workers who have died in Qatar.
“Spot on from him. Fair play,” one fan said in response to the video.
Another Twitter user posted: “Spoke very well here in fairness.”
“A lot of respect for him for saying this,” a third added.
Someone else tweeted: “42 more days ‘til the Premier League kicks off again because of this shambolic World Cup. Fair play to Bruno for speaking out about some of the various issues.”