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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 18, 2006

Blatter: Anti-racism rules will apply at World Cup

LONDON -- Teams at the World Cup will be subject to FIFA's new anti-racism rules, which include a possible three-point penalty in the standings for misbehavior by fans.

FIFA's new rules took effect April 4 and will govern domestic competitions starting next season.

"The regulations will also be applied for this World Cup," FIFA president Sepp Blatter told Sky TV in an interview aired Tuesday. "At the first sign [of racism] there will be a deduction of three points, then we are finished with the problems of discrimination."

The measures for domestic leagues include a deduction of three points for a first offense, six for a second and relegation for a third. Fines can also be given to fans or officials for "any act or expression of a discriminatory and/or contemptuous nature."

Blatter said the FIFA Congress will discuss the matter when it meets before the World Cup opener in Munich, Germany, on June 9.

"We go now to the Congress in 45 to 50 days and then it will be by decision of the Congress ... to give FIFA the authority to intervene in case of non-application," he said.

Blatter also declined to join calls to bar Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from attending the tournament. Ahmadinejad has drawn criticism for labeling the Holocaust a myth and calling for Israel's destruction.

"If any head of state wants to travel to Germany, this is a matter to be dealt with by the German authorities and definitely not by FIFA," Blatter said. "I would be happy that any head of state would accompany his team and to be present in Germany."

Blatter was abrupt when asked about reports that 60,000 women from Eastern Europe would be trafficked into Germany for use in prostitution during the World Cup.

"We in FIFA, we are not responsible for the morality and the ethics of the whole population of the world," Blatter said. "We should go against gambling. We should go against drugs. We should go against religion. We should go against weapons, and so on. This is not our duty, our duty is football."

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