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GAY rights activists have reacted furiously after FIFA President Sepp Blatter joked that gay football fans should "refrain'' from sex during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.
Asked about concerns over the treatment of gay fans at the tournament, Blatter responded: "I would say that they should refrain from any sexual activities.''
The comments, made during a press conference in South Africa alongside the country's President Jacob Zuma, are the latest slip-up from the gaffe-prone football chief and provoked an immediate and fierce backlash.
Former NBA basketball star John Amaechi - who revealed he was gay in 2007 - led the attack, accusing the FIFA president of "epic, archaic, neanderthal, ignorance.
"With little more than an afterthought FIFA has endorsed the marginalisation of LGBT - lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people - around the world,'' he wrote on his blog.
"Anything less than a full reversal of his position is unacceptable.''