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FIFA At It Again: Blatter Insults American Game

blatter get 438 300x217 FIFA At It Again: Blatter Insults American Game

Sepp Blatter doesn’t know when to shut up. The Anglophobic President of FIFA has now extended his war against English speaking peoples across the pond in attacking Major League Soccer. Blatter believes MLS should move to what he refers to as a “traditional calender.”

What exactly is the traditional calender? Is it the calender that favors warmer climates and which several leagues in the Northern quadrant of Europe have abandoned in recent years? As the head of the world game, Mr. Blatter must be keenly aware that more league have recently moved AWAY from the “traditional” calender than towards this “tradition” of world football.

I will state again something I have stated regularly for years now. I believe it to be nearly impossible for either US/Canada based league, MLS or USL to play on the “traditional” calendar. Blatter seems to believe this simply has to do with the availability of stadiums.

But the reality is the climate in the northern extremes of the United States and in all of Canada is too harsh to play in the winter months. The fact that the Montreal Impact were forced to abandon Saputo Stadium in favor of an indoor facility for last month’s CONCACAF Champions League match should be a reminder how difficult scheduling in the winter is for our leagues.

Blatter’s other comments about football in the United States were also silly. Let’s take a look each of his comments and analyze their validity in the big picture.

““American football plays in winter, so they can only play from March to October, which means you are not in the right season,”

What exactly constitutes the right season? Russia, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Brazil and Ireland all play on calender’s similar to MLS/USL. Perhaps because those nations, other than Ireland are not predominantly English speaking, Blatter has chosen to ignore their deviance from “traditional” scheduling and playing in the “right” season.

“The best American players are playing here, and this is the basic problem with the MLS.”

What about every other worldwide league whose best players are not playing at home? The J-League doesn’t have best Japanese players and the A-League certainly doesn’t have the best Australian players, and the Argentine League can never keep the best Argentine players at home.

“This league was founded after the 1994 World Cup, but is still struggling to get the position they should have according to the number of football players there are in the United States,”

This is more on MLS as a footballing organization than on the scheduling of matches over the summer. My criticisms of MLS are numerous as any regular to this site knows, but playing from March to November is not one of them. In fact I believe MLS and USL will be destroyed by playing August to May. The leagues will not survive on that calender.

“It has the highest number of young players in any sport,”  “But the league has not found yet its position. It can only find its position if the league has its own stadiums.”

MLS is in the process of working on this. Haven’t you, the ultimate poo-bah of World Football noticed?

Once again FIFA’s dislike of anything English or associated with an English language speaking country have gotten the best of Blatter. You’d believe his comments were uttered by some ignorant Spanish football writer, not the head of FIFA. Clearly, Blatter and his allies within the world football governing body still don’t understand the nuances of football in North America. This is all the more reason why a change is needed at FIFA HQ.


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About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
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