Joseph Blatter Calls for Lifetime Bans, Quotas on Foreign Players

Paul KellyCorrespondent IMarch 7, 2008

In the wake of Eduardo da Silva's horrific injury, FIFA President Sepp Blatter has demanded lifetime bans and criminal prosecution for dangerous tackles.

"Players who do this kind of thing intentionally should be banned from the game," Blatter said ahead of FIFA's International Board meeting this weekend.

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

Blatter did not venture into the legal problems of trying to prove how one player intentionally tries to break another's leg.

He has also insisted on pushing through his "six plus five" policy where clubs will be forced to play no less than six local players in a starting line-up by 2012, despite EU laws protecting the mobility of workers.

Teams such as Inter Milan and Arsenal who regularly field teams with no local players were singled out by Blatter, "Look at Arsenal; almost all the players are from outside England ... this is damaging to the identity and integrity of football."

It seems Blatter, who is known for his strong views concerning the game of football, wants to leave his mark in some way; although it has becoming increasingly hard to know when, if ever, to take him seriously.

We all know that the English national team has underperformed; but will imposing stringent quotas undermining the quality of play and viewer satisfaction be recompense for a better-performing national team? 

As for reckless tackles, is it fair to ban a player for life with a criminal record over one bad challenge? 

Surely there are less draconian measures that can be taken to regulate tackling in football. 

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