FIFA chief Sepp Blatter prompted smirks Wednesday when he wondered aloud whether football could be played on other planets, raising the prospect of an intergalactic version of the World Cup.
The 78-year-old Swiss has overseen stellar growth in what is regarded as the world game, and with a history of outlandish remarks it was difficult to tell whether he was joking.
"We wonder one day if our game is played on other planets. Why not?" Blatter told delegates at the FIFA congress in Sao Paulo.
"Then we will have not only a World Cup, we will have inter-planetary competitions."
Blatter has taken a tight grip on world soccer despite several gaffes in the past, including calling for women's players to wear tight shorts and for the abolishment of draws.
A star-studded inter-planetary football competition would surely outshine the comparatively parochial World Cup, whose 20th edition will start in Sao Paulo on Thursday.