TRIPOLI: Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi has accused world football’s governing body FIFA of being a "global mafia" that is involved in the trafficking of players from poor nations to wealthier ones.
"We condemn this global mafia, this corrupt organization," Qaddafi said late Saturday during a ceremony to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the withdrawal of US troops from Libya in June 1970.
"The corrupt politics of this organization must be fought and we will fight it regularly," he told thousands of supporters and troops at the Mitiga military airport near Tripoli.
Qaddafi, once the chairman of the African Union who is known not to mince his words, charged that FIFA was "trafficking in human beings and relaunching slavery… (by) buying players from poor countries and placing them in (training) camps of wealthy countries before selling them again."
"With the billions it is earning from human trafficking, FIFA should help poor countries host the World Cup," he said.
He also reiterated calls he made in May that "small nations" should host the World Cup.
"It is their right in order to put an end to the feelings of injustice, hatred and bitterness of poor people, who have been deprived so far from organizing the World Cup."
Oil-rich Libya had eyed the hosting of the 2010 World Cup which South Africa clinched. Libya will host the 2013 Africa Cup.