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Blatter: Violence, Big Business Threatening Soccer
The Guardian, March 23rd, 2007 4:22PM

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Across the globe, violence and the commercial interests of big corporations are resulting in a kind of PR crisis for the world's game, says FIFA President Sepp Blatter. While the interest of big business is overriding that of club supporters, violence and poor safety standards in stadiums are also contributing to soccer's tarnished image, Blatter said.

"We have come to a crossroads of football, our football is ill," Blatter told a news conference in Zurich. "I see more and more financial interests over-riding people in club football especially. Even rich countries they are not capable of providing safe and comfortable stadia, and I see that violence is everywhere, including inside the stadia."

Blatter pointed to the brawl between Arsenal and Chelsea at the end of the Carling Cup final in March, which resulted in the dismissal of three players, and the contemptuous fight between Inter and Valencia in the Champions League several days later. "There are many other examples I could mention. Where is football leading to if players are now at each others' throats," he said. "What will people think if they see on TV these pictures of major football matches. We must act, and we will raise this at FIFA's next congress." Read the original story...


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