Blatter 'not anti-England'

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Football News

FIFA president Sepp Blatter insists he is not 'out to get' English football.

Blatter has caused controversy in recent times with his outspoken views on club ownership, the unhealthy number of foreign players in major leagues and an apparent lack of interest in England's 2018 World Cup bid.

"I like England - and English football," said Blatter. "It is said I don't like the Premier League because of its global influence. But the Premier League is absolutely exceptional."

He added: "The Premier League is the best organised league and the best marketed league in the world. It is very attractive and as a football fan I am very happy.

"I don't know if it is English football - but it is football played in England."

Not English football in either the playing sense or in ownership given half the Premier League is either owned by non-UK nationals or an individual who prefers to reside away from the mainland.

Yet, for all the previous bluster, and the attacks from his former right-hand man and current UEFA president Michel Platini, Blatter is happy to give the principle of foreign ownership a qualified thumbs-up.

"I met the Gillet family and the owners of Manchester United. I can only thank them for putting money into football," said Blatter.

"As long as they bring money to football that is good. Perhaps it is not the right solution, in other countries, the owners of the clubs are the fans.

"But the system here in England allows it, and I have no problems."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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