However, following Manchester United’s dramatic victory over Fulham on Sunday—the final Premier League game before the World Cup kicked off on December 20—Fernandes spoke out against Qatar and became one of the first notable athletes partaking in the event to do so.
Fernandes told Sky Sports: “Of course it’s strange [the World Cup starting next week]. 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.”
Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen, a teammate of Fernandes, continued, “A lot has been written, and there’s a lot of focus on how it happened and why it’s in Qatar. Although I disagree with how it occurred, we are players and we play the game. Change must originate from another source.
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