Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has questioned the timing of the World Cup and raised concerns about the death of migrant workers building the stadiums in Qatar.
The Premier League’s final match before Boxing Day saw United beat Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday as teenager Alejandro Garnacho scored a stoppage-time winner to keep Erik Ten Hag’s side within touching distance of the top four.
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Fernandes, who will play for Portugal at the finals which begin on Saturday, spoke after the game about the first World Cup ever to be staged in winter and a venue where the Guardian has previously reported around 6,500 people have died during the construction of seven new stadiums, a figure the Qatar Supreme Committee strongly disputes.
“Of course it’s strange [the World Cup starting next week],” Fernandes told Sky Sports.
“It’s not exactly the time we want to be playing in the World Cup. I think for everyone, players and fans, it’s not the best time. Kids will be at school, people will be working and the timings will not be the best for people to watch the games.
“We know the surroundings of the World Cup, what has been in the past few weeks, past few months, about the people that have died on the construction of the stadiums. We are not happy about that at all.
“We want football to be for everyone, everyone has to be included and involved in a World Cup because a World Cup is the world. It’s for everyone, it doesn’t matter who. These kind of things I think should not happen at any time. But for a World Cup it’s more than football, it’s a party for fans, players, something that’s a joy to watch, should be done in a better way.”