Anti-racism handshakes, games of 'three halves', slaves, women, Qatar: Sepp Blatter's craziest ideas
Silly old Sepp Blatter is at it again! FIFA's somewhat confused leader gave an interview about football's current hot topic in which he claimed there is no racism in footbal l.
And, he went on to say, if there was, then the players should affected should understand things happen in the heat of the moment and then shake hands at the end of it.
Frankly we expect nothing less from a man of whom it was once said "has 50 ideas a day, 51 of them bad”.
Like suggesting 2022 World Cup organisers are considering playing games of three 30-minute periods in order to combat the fierce summer temperatures in Qatar, for example.
Here Chris Bloor runs through the more bizarre moments of the man whose name almost rhymes with 'Mad Hatter'.
1) Slavery isn't dead
In July 2008 Sepp compared the plight of pampered, overpaid, unprofessional footballers to that of slaves, describing how "in football, there's too much modern slavery, in transferring players or buying players here and there and putting them somewhere”. With his typical gift for timing, the comments came just as news broke that Frank Lampard had rejected a contract offer from Chelsea in excess of £130,000 a week.
2) The ladies man
Back in 2004 Sepp declared that female footballers should wear hot pants to try and increase the popularity of the sport, saying: "Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball... for example, tighter shorts". Unsurprisingly this wildly degrading comment met with the scorn of many women in the game. "It's completely irresponsible for a man in a powerful position to make comments like this," responded Charlton keeper Pauline Cope.
3) Scrapping the offside rule in the name of jolly hockey sticks
In March 2010 it was revealed that the Fifa supremo had held talks with the Hockey President Leandro Negre about the effect of scrapping the offside rule. Yes, we've all ranted and screamed at our television on more than one occasion when yet again an official is clearly in the wrong, but really, scrapping the offside rule altogether? A goal-hanger's charter, surely?
4) Too many cooks spoil the broth
2007 saw Blatter propose a move to use four linesmen. Two would remain with just their brightly coloured flags, while the other two would have whistles, and could intervene in a game when they felt there was an infringement.
5) 6+5 = I dislike England
Remember when English clubs dominated the Champions League? We all got excited, revelled in our supremacy, and then last year we didn't have a team in the final. That's the natural cycle. However, our man at the top decided it was unfair, and that no teams should be allowed to field more than five foreign players. Funnily enough, this is another plan that never really got off the ground. Apart from it being largely ridiculous, it also goes against the laws of the European Union.
6) There's no gay in football's village
In March 2008, Blatter broke off from calling for dangerous tackles to be punished by life bans to address the tricky questions of homosexuality. Ever the tactful diplomat, Sepp declared:“There are gay footballers, but they don't declare it because it will not be accepted in these macho organisations,” he said. “Look at women's football - homosexuality is more popular there.”
7) ITV in Wonderland
In the run-up to the 1994 World Cup, while acting as Fifa's general secretary, our man of many ideas suggested that as an olive branch to the American broadcasting networks, the game should be split into four quarters. Thank goodness nobody listened. It hardly bears thinking about a world where ITV had even more chance to numb our brains with the same reel of commercials over, and over, and over again.
8) Moving the goalposts
Literally. In July 2006, Sepp mused about extending the width of the goal by half a metre, and adding 25cm of height to the frame. As if the modern balls weren't bad enough for those poor brave men (and women) stupid enough to stand between the sticks, he felt it was his duty to make their task that little bit harder.
9) Drop your draws
Having dumped the Golden Goal in 2006, Blatter has since spoken about bringing it back, or perhaps going straight to penalties after a draw in the World Cup knockout stages. But in August 2010 he went one step further, suggesting that all group stage draws should be eliminated completely by introducing extra time and penalties at the end of matches to "make things more interesting".
10) A nasty touch of Qatar
Staging the World Cup in a country where drinking is restricted in the 50degree heat and where homosexuality is punishable by execution? Another winner! Long may his reign of error continue...
What's your favourite rotten Sepp Blatter idea? Let us know by leaving a comment below...