Rich clubs slammed

DUBAI - Fifa president Sepp Blatter hit out at rich clubs with inflated squads yesterday, accusing them of buying too many players and depriving smaller teams of being competitive.

DUBAI - Fifa president Sepp Blatter hit out at rich clubs with inflated squads yesterday, accusing them of buying too many players and depriving smaller teams of being competitive.

"There is kind of like a traffic jam of players in Europe," he said at the Soccerex conference in Dubai, where the chief executives or commercial directors of some of the world's top clubs are meeting.

"The big clubs with a lot of money they can afford to buy players, a lot of players, and the best players. They have 25 players, 30 players in their squad but football, association football, is played by 11 players," he said.

"What are the others doing? Waiting? Recuperating? They take them out of the market because they cannot play, all of them cannot play.

"Already in Europe now there are teams who, after a third of the competition, cannot win. If that level of competition is missing then there is something wrong with our sport and we have to tackle it."

Blatter didn't point to specific teams, but clubs with big squads like Manchester United and Arsenal insist they need the extra players so they can rotate their teams to cope with increasingly demanding football seasons. - Sapa-AFP

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