Blatter warns Sarko

Fifa supremo Sepp Blatter has sent a stern message to President Sarkozy of France warning him not to get involved in football matters or France may be banned from international competitions.   Fifa has strict rules which aim to keep politics out of football, although in practice this is rather difficult.  Even the harsh military regime in Argentina got a popularity boost when the national team won the World Cup.

Fifa supremo Sepp Blatter has sent a stern message to President Sarkozy of France warning him not to get involved in football matters or France may be banned from international competitions.   Fifa has strict rules which aim to keep politics out of football, although in practice this is rather difficult.  Even the harsh military regime in Argentina got a popularity boost when the national team won the World Cup.

The behaviour of the French team in South Africa has been treated as a national disgrace.   Team members slunk away when they returned to Paris, but Thierry Henry was taken from the plane by presidential limousine to the Elysée Palace where he was smuggled in by a back entrance to meet the president and explain what had gone wrong.    This move did not go down too well in France as it involved President Sarkozy cancelling an important meeting on development issues.

 I commented on my Radio Scilly sports show slot last week that Sarkozy’s conduct was likely to get him into trouble with Fifa, particularly the idea of convening a ‘Football Parliament’ in the autumn, although exactly how that was to be constituted was far from clear.   In the event we now have a clash of two relatively large egos who are both powerful in their own fiefdoms.

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