FIFA president Sepp Blatter has apologised for saying that gay football fans shouldn’t have sex in Qatar when the country hosts the 2022 World Cup.

Earlier this week, he dismissed concerns that the country is homophobic, despite laws punishing gay sex with up to five years in prison.

When asked about gay football fans visiting Qatar, he said: “I would say they should refrain from any sexual activities.”

Today, he said he was sorry if anyone had been offended by his comments.

Speaking in Abu Dhabi, he said: “It was not my intention and never will be my intention to go into any discrimination.

“This is exactly what we are against. If somebody feels that they have been hurt, then I regret it and present apologies.”

Gay campaigners were furious at his earlier comments.

Former basketball star John Amaechi, who came out in 2007, said he was “enraged” at the comments and had made a complain to FIFA.

The Gay Football Supporters’ Network called on him to retract the remarks or resign.