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Blatter savages Prem plans
15 Feb 2008 - 08:30:46
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has voiced his total opposition to the Premier League's plans to play an extra round of games overseas in the coming years.
Blatter went as far as suggesting that the proposal is 'an abuse of football' and said that if it went ahead, it could have an adverse effect on England's bid to stage the 2018 World Cup finals.
"To try to have additional exposure and revenue by expanding the league around the world, I think this is not acceptable," Blatter told BBC Sport.
"It will not be acceptable to the FIFA executive committee, I am sure. This will never happen, at least this will not happen as long as I am the president of FIFA.
"We have not been contacted before by the Premier League to ask us what we think of this idea.
"If you are the most prosperous league in the world and if you accept that everyone in football has a responsibility to maintain it not only as a business, but as a game.
"Then, all of a sudden you come out with a project which only has business and money behind it.
"Even if the FA did sanction it, all the national associations receiving these clubs would have to sanction it also. This will be very difficult.
"In addition to that, the FIFA executive committee will apply article two of the FIFA statutes: 'to prevent all methods or practices which might jeopardise the integrity of matches or competitions or give rise to abuse of association football'.
"This is abuse. The rich Premier League is trying to get richer and wants to expand the importance of that league.
"If you go against the authority of FIFA and the decision-making body which is the executive committee then you cannot expect them to be in your favour later on.
"England will not be the only World Cup bid. I cannot imagine that when you go against the deciding body for the decision on the World Cup in an initiative that will not be accepted by this body, that you will enhance your chances."