FIFA chief Sepp Blatter warns Qatar over imported players for 2022

Highlights: Qatar 0-1 Iran (1:16)

Iran beat Qatar 1-0 to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup. (1:16)

FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Friday warned Qatar against trying to form an imported team for the 2022 World Cup they will host and labelled the foreign team it used at the world handball championships as an "absurdity," Blatter said in his editorial in the current issue of FIFA Weekly.

"The nation of 2.2 million faces the huge challenge of forming a competitive national football team by 2022. However, this cannot be achieved by quickly naturalising players," Blatter said in his commentary.

Qatar, the smallest host in World Cup history, has just 282,750 citizens, although it hosts an estimated 1.5 million expatriates.

Blatter warned that FIFA would monitor Qatar's selection process, and criticised the International Handball Federation for allowing so many naturalised players.

Blatter claimed that Qatar's players, who reached last weekend's final at the handball world championships "contradict the spirit of a national team."

The Qatar squad included players born in Bosnia-Herzegovina, France, Spain, Cuba and Montenegro. Several had played for other national teams prior to the tournament. The international handball federation allows players to play for more than one country.

"The fact that sport builds social bridges and brings cultures together cannot be stressed often enough," said the FIFA president, who is campaigning for a new term in May's election.

"However, what happened at this year's men's world handball championship in Qatar stretched this notion to the point of absurdity."

Under FIFA rules, a player has to have been born in the country he represents or his parents have to have been born there. Otherwise, the player must have spent at least five years living there to qualify.