Gianni Infantino has faced harsh criticism following comments he made while advocating for a Biennial World Cup.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino comes under fire for Migrant comments
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has come under fire for comments he made concerning the migrant crisis in Europe
Infantino said football is dominated by the few who "have everything" and it needs to be more global and inclusive.
"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 to find, maybe, a better life but more probably death in the sea," Infantino told the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in France.
Infantino made this statement as more than 300 were rescued this week from several boats trying to reach the Canary Islands from North Africa.
"We need to give dignity, not by giving charity but by allowing the rest of the world as well to participate," Infantino told lawmakers at a session he attended with Arsene Wenger, FIFA's director of global development.
FIFA has faced strong resistance across European football since launching a formal proposal to organise men's and women's World Cups every two years instead of four.
Infantino has said organising more editions of the World Cup will lead to more countries qualifying and fuel interest there.
It would also raise billions of dollars for FIFA and increase funding for its 211 member federations to develop football.
"In Europe, there is no need for additional possibilities and events," Infantino told lawmakers at the 47-nation Council of Europe
Since his comments went public, Infantino has faced criticism from fans and lovers of the sport in general.
One such person is the head of Kick It Out, Tony Burnett. Burnett frowned on Infantino's comments and said the proposal is only a money-making scheme.
"FIFA is a multi-billion profit-making organisation. They already have the funds to invest in creating and inspiring opportunities for disadvantaged people around the world.
"It is therefore completely unacceptable to suggest that a biennial World Cup, could be a solution for migrants who risk their lives, sometimes fleeing war-torn countries, to seek a better life," Burnett said.
Burnett suggested, "If FIFA has a genuine commitment to tackling inequality, they should be investing time and resource into charitable causes on the ground.