Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sepp Raps Tourists

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sepp Raps Tourists

Article excerpt

Byline: RAOUL SIMONS

SEPP BLATTER, the most powerful man in world football, today attacked Manchester United and Chelsea for complaining about Olympic call-ups.

The FIFA president is furious that at the same time as voicing fears of player burnout, the two clubs have taken their stars on lucrative summer tours of America.

Sir Alex Ferguson last week accused FIFA of creating a "gun-to-the head" situation for Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina's Gabriel Heinze by forcing them to play in Athens next month, adding: "These players are going to be exhausted."

Chelsea were also upset by Tiago's call-up for Portugal and both clubs unsuccessfully appealed for their players to be left behind.

But Blatter believes their reaction is a case of "what is good for the goose, is not good for the gander" given the clubs' participation in three exhibition matches in the ChampionsWorld Series this month.

Blatter said: "Clearly there are many aspects of some of England's leading Premiership Clubs going on a preseason US tour. …

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