Blatter Backs Off From Spanish Threat
Though Spain are very much qualified for Euro 2008, we’re still not 100% sure the team will be at the tournament. The Spanish government’s interference with the Spanish Football Federation – they’re demanding all sporting organizations hold new elections before the 2008 Olympics – contravenes FIFA’s golden rule that all governments stay off of FIFA’s cabbage patch. Or else.
So FIFA have been threatening to ban Spain from international competition unless the government backs down, which would mean kicking the team out of Euro 2008. Ouchy.
No one wants that. Especially not Spanish fans. And it would be extremely unfair to inflict such a harsh punishment on the Spanish footballing powers for something that’s literally out of their control. FIFA don’t really want it to happen either, since Euro 2008 would be weakened (not least commercially) by Spain’s absence. So now Sepp Blatter is backtracking a bit, like a man who’s talked himself into a barfight he’s suddenly realized he doesn’t want: “It was not a threat and it was not pressure,” Blatter told reporters on Friday. “I was simply explaining the situation.”
Good news for Spanish fans then, who can loosen their collars at least a little bit now Blatter is backing off. But there’s no such good news for Albania fans, as their team is now officially on FIFA’s naughty list.
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