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Blatter demands action on tackles

Fifa president Sepp Blatter
Blatter is determined to take a hardline stance

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has called for lifetime bans and criminal prosecutions for players guilty of making dangerous tackles.

He has demanded a "zero tolerance" policy ahead of the International Board's weekend meeting at Gleneagles.

Blatter told The Times: "Dangerous tackling is one of the most important issues in football at the moment.

"Therefore players who do this kind of thing intentionally should be banned from the game."

He added: "Attacking somebody is criminal, whether it happens on a football pitch or elsewhere. It is a crime and should be treated as such."

Blatter also suggested managers were not helping the problem and he said: "The mechanism where this happens today is obvious.

You do not want football to be a non-contact sport - tackles are part of the game

Man Utd winger Ryan Giggs

"The pressure on the coach or manager to win is such that he encourages his players to go for victory at any cost.

"There is no microphone in the dressing room, so he says, 'go, go, go'. Until when? Until the point where the referee intervenes."

Blatter also called on referees to be part of the crackdown, saying: "Some referees have in their mind 'how long can I let this game go without giving a card?'

"They think they are good referees if the game flows for 20 minutes without an interruption. But the referees must give yellow cards or red cards in the first three or four minutes if necessary and we will call for them to do so.

"Then the referee will have peace on the pitch. At the moment it is just not working.

"Before, the problem was tackling from behind, but now players are doing it from the front and from the side. This is a matter we will discuss this weekend.


"We will not only make recommendations to the referees, we will instruct them to be stronger against this violence."

But Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs believes such bans would be almost impossible to enforce.

"How would you govern that?" questioned Giggs. "It's hard to say in many cases if a player has gone out to injure someone.

"You do not want football to be a non-contact sport. Tackles are part of the game. Equally you want them to be fair.

"You would need to bring ex-players onto a panel and be the judges as they would know."

see also
Blatter faces player quota veto
20 Feb 08 |  Football
Blatter hostile to overseas plan
15 Feb 08 |  Premier League

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