Blatter slams Premier League global TV dominance

November 26, 2007

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has warned that the popularity of the Premier League around the world could be harming local competitions in countries such as South Africa.

Live coverage of a Premier League match is screened on South African television on Saturday afternoons - at the same time their domestic league games are taking place.

Blatter said he had concerns about blanket coverage also involving the Spanish and Italian leagues.

'We cannot intervene in economic principles,' added Blatter.

'The only people who can stop this are the owners of the rights but speak to them about solidarity and they say you are romantic.

'One must tackle this problem because football cannot develop if you always have good, big teams on your screen.'

Meanwhile, Blatter warned of the threat of naturalised Brazilian `invaders' playing for other countries and said the rules on eligibility needed to be toughened up.

Some countries only require players to be resident for two years before handing them passports, and Brazilians playing for other national sides include Arsenal's Eduardo da Silva, who plays for Croatia, and Barcelona's Deco, who plays for Portugal.

Blatter told a news conference in Durban: 'If we don't stop this farce, if we don't take care about the invaders from Brazil towards Europe, Asia and Africa then, in the 2014 or the 2018 World Cup, out of the 32 teams you will have 16 full of Brazilian players. This is a real, real danger.

'Two years is definitely not enough. In Brazil there are 60million football players, every third person kicks the ball.'