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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 November 2005, 11:47 GMT
Blatter suggests dropping anthems
Fifa president Sepp Blatter
Blatter wants teams to shake hands after each game
Fifa president Sepp Blatter has suggested national anthems should be scrapped before international games.

Blatter was upset by booing during the anthems in the World Cup play-off between Turkey and Switzerland.

"I consider it extremely disrespectful and of course disparaging to national pride," Blatter told Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte.

"I'm wondering whether it makes sense to play the national anthems. We should at least consider not playing them."

A Fifa spokesman told BBC Sport that Blatter's comments were his own personal opinion and no official moves had been made to do away with national anthems.

But Blatter believes the booing of anthems may contribute to crowd trouble.

In Istanbul, the home fans booed the Swiss anthem, after the Turkish team had earlier complained about Swiss fans whistling over their national anthem ahead of the play-off first leg in Bern.

The second leg ended with the victorious Swiss players running for the tunnel as missiles were thrown from the crowd.

As they reached the players' tunnel, a fight broke out with their Turkish counterparts.

Blatter added: "We could also insist that the teams shake hands after the match.

"We cannot have the situation where the winning team is unable to celebrate but must instead sprint off the pitch like thieves."

Fifa has launched an investigation into events at Istanbul.

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18 Nov 05 |  Internationals
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