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Football

Blatter would give draws the boot


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World football supremo Blatter wants to scrap drawn games

BERLIN, Germany -- FIFA president Sepp Blatter has proposed scrapping draws in soccer matches, saying in an interview in Germany that "every game should have a winner".

The head of the game's world governing body added: "When you play cards, bowls or a board game, there's always a winner and a loser.

"We should have the courage to introduce a final decision in every game of football. That is what I want."

Blatter said the best solution to settle a stalemate would be penalties but added that he would study any other proposal.

"Penalties remain the best way to decide a game in the case of a draw but if anybody has a better idea, I am ready to listen to it," he said.

"A game is about emotions. There is passion. It can be dramatic. At the end of it it's almost always a tragedy.

"We can't be satisfied with draws. (Modern Olympic Games founder) Pierre de Coubertin has said that the important thing was to take part, not to win.

"That's not true. In life you have a goal and in sport, too, you have a goal which you want to achieve."

However, FIFA vice-president Julio Grondona rejected Blatter's proposal, saying: "Football cannot be any better than it already is."

The Argentinian added that Blatter must have been speaking "in a moment of euphoria".

Blatter said he did not like the principle of extra time, which has led to many dramatic moments over the years.

"The fact that there is a duel over two games which is then decided after extra time is not quite fair," he said.

"After 90 minutes of the return leg, the tie should go straight into penalties. Extra time is like a second home game for the home team."

Soccer's law-making International Board decided in February to scrap both Golden Goals and Silver Goals to end drawn matches in finals of major competitions and to revert to extra time and then penalties.

The FIFA president also reaffirmed that he was against the introduction of video or any other technical device to help referees make controversial decisions.

"As long as I live there will be no technical help (for referees)," he said.

"You have to live with the uncertainty of the game and the mistakes of the referee. I don't ever want to see television cameras decide whether it was an offside or if the foul occurred inside or outside the box."

Blatter, whose mandate expires in 2007, did not rule out seeking a third term and suggested Franz Beckenbauer should run for the presidency of UEFA.

"His job as president of the 2006 World Cup (in Germany) ends after the finals," Blatter said of Beckenbauer. "Then will come the vote for the UEFA presidency. I believe he should run for that, even if Michel Platini has ambitions.

"I believe those who come from football should have a say in football."


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