Qatar has come under scrutiny for its human rights record and the conditions of migrant workers since it was announced as the host of the 2022 football showpiece.
Improvements have been made, including the introduction of a minimum wage to the dismantling of the “kafala” sponsorship system linking workers to their employer.
Qatar, however, remains firmly in the spotlight ahead of this year’s World Cup and Infantino admits more can be done.
“Of course it’s not heaven,” he told The Associated Press. “Of course, it’s not perfect. Of course, there is still work to be done. But we have to stay there.
“We must continue. We must work together. We must encourage change because not everyone wants change, even in Qatar or the Gulf. But management wants change.
“The legacy in terms of human rights, workers’ rights is, and has been, already achieved before the World Cup. It is important that it is here to stay and that it will stay. It will remain because it is enshrined in legislation.
Another point of contention surrounding the World Cup in Qatar is the fact that same-sex relationships are illegal in the country.
England manager Gareth Southgate recently expressed concern and added: “It would be horrible to think that some of our fans think they can’t go because they feel threatened or fear for their lives. their safety.”
But Infantino said: “Everyone will see that everyone is welcome here in Qatar, even if we are talking about LGBTQ+.
“I really believe that when I hear some of the voices saying, ‘Well, an Arab country doesn’t deserve to host a World Cup because there’s no football history’ or some nonsense like that, I completely disagree… because the whole world deserves to have the world cup.
“This time it’s in an Arab country. There were a few issues. We were able to help solve them a little. They have been addressed.