Bruno Fernandes has admitted players are unhappy with the timing of this year’s World Cup and the human rights issues that are present in Qatar.
Elite-level leagues around the world have now paused for the winter spectacle in the Middle East, which is hosting FIFA’s flagship event for the first time.
At least 6,500 workers have died in Qatar since the country was awarded the World Cup in December.
Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar and punishable by death, though World Cup organisers say “everyone is welcome” and claim no one will be discriminated against.
Speaking after Man Utd’s win over Fulham, Fernandes said: “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.”
“A lot has been written, there’s a lot of focus on how it’s happened and why it’s in Qatar. I don’t agree with how it’s happened but we’re footballers and we play football. Change has to come from somewhere else.”