Blatter blasts Premier League proposal

The FIFA president Sepp Blatter has condemned Premier League proposals to play matches overseas as "unacceptable" and an "abuse of football".

The Premier League clubs have agreed in principle to look at each playing an extra match every January in a foreign city.

Blatter though has vowed to do all he can to block the League's plans and warned that if they push ahead with the proposals it could torpedo England's bid for the 2018 World Cup.

The FIFA president's criticism follows strong opposition from UEFA counterpart Michel Platini and Asian federation chief Mohamed bin Hammam, and there is now a major doubt about whether the Premier League would even be able to find countries willing to hold the matches.

Blatter said: "To try to have additional exposure and revenue by expanding the league around the world, I think this is not acceptable.

"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 League to ask us what we think of this idea. You speak about rude but I think it is an anti-responsibility.

"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."

Blatter said FIFA's statutes were clear that the matches would need the permission of the national associations of the countries where they would be staged - and that he would do all he could to block any attempt to grant that permission.

He added: "According to the statutes and regulations, it is said very clearly that if you want to play any match in a foreign territory outside the country where the teams are coming from you need the authorisation of that association.

"I will bring it to the attention of the executive committee but you can be sure that the executive committee will reject such an inapplication of the statutes.

"And I will ask the national associations in a decision taken by the executive committee not to accept such an initiative which is definitely an abuse of the game. This is definitely abuse of association football."

Blatter said he will take the controversy to FIFA's Congress if the Premier League insist on pushing ahead with their plans.

What will really worry the Football Association however Blatter's warning that the plans could affect England's bid for the 2018 World Cup.

Blatter added: "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. It will not be diplomatic."

Blatter said he would give Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore the opportunity to state his case to FIFA but would state his views "perhaps even stronger".

He added: "Football cannot be like the Harlem globetrotters or a circus. You must keep the national identity of the clubs."

A Premier League spokesman said: "We look forward to the opportunity to meet with FIFA in order to discuss this matter in full.

"This was always the starting point in relation to this issue of sanction of our proposed international round and as such we will be making no further comment until after that time."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power