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Sepp Blatter puts his foot in it again, says America does not have a strong professional league
Not for the first time, FIFA president Sepp Blatter looks to have angered a large amount of football lovers and administrators in one particular demographic.
Previously, Blatter has denied the widespread financial corruption in FIFA and called for women to play the game in more “feminine clothes.” And who can forget some misguided views on racism from the most powerful man in football in November 2011.
Blatter’s latest gaffe came about the MLS with a tremendously harsh assessment of a league that is rapidly improving.
In an interview aired on Friday, Sepp Blatter spoke to Marwan Bishara of Al Jazeera about the changing state of football from Palestine to Europe to Africa, Asia and the Americas.
Incredibly, towards the end of the interview, Blatter says America does not have a “very strong” professional league that is “recognized by American society.” He continues: “They have ‘just’ the MLS.”
The 76-year-old then goes on to bemoan the progress made by the MLS since the 1994 World Cup and says they are still struggling.
Consider the following statistics to put into context just how out of touch Sepp Blatter is with the MLS, which incidentally has been running for just 17 years.
* The 19 MLS teams in 2012 averaged an attendance of 18,650.
* For the second year in a row, more people watched soccer live than watched NHL or NBA games live.
* The Seattle Sounders get more fans per game, on average, than attend English Premier League games.
* Key MLS games are now broadcast live on NBC.
Video of Sepp Blatter’s latest gaffe is on the video below. (Via the excellent Reddit Football page.)
- Updated: December 30, 2012