FIFA President Sepp Blatter has backed calls from the European Union parliament urging Qatar to stop contractors from abusing the rights of migrant workers involved in construction for the 2022 World Cup.

Blatter also took aim at European companies working on the venues. Speaking in Rome following an audience with Pope Francis on Friday, Blatter says ''we deplore what happened there.''

Blatter adds ''the big companies working there, they are all European. ... The constructor is also responsible for his workers.''

The International Trade Union Confederation set off the growing furor two months ago. It said that unless labor practices changed at least 4,000 workers would die because of inhumane conditions.