FIFA's president Sepp Blatter says he's sorry for the fallout from his remarks that gay fans should abstain from sex during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Blatter told journalists Friday in Abu Dhabi that he apologized to anyone offended by his comments earlier this week in South Africa, where he said gay visitors should "refrain from any sexual activities" while in Qatar because of the Gulf nation's strict laws against homosexuality.

Blatter's comments had been criticized by some gay rights groups.

He visited Qatar on Thursday before traveling to Abu Dhabi, which is hosting the Club World Cup.

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