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Blatter wants teams relegated over racism

Sepp Blatter is running again. Credit: PA

Fifa president Sepp Blatter says football bodies should have the power to relegate teams if their fans commit racist acts.

Blatter, who is currently running for his fifth straight term in office, hopes the stricter punishments will act as a deterrent.

"We have to punish not only through fines and stadium closures but we have to use our rules to suspend teams, to take away their points or even to relegate them if racism continues," he said.

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Fifa president Sepp Blatter refuses TV debate invite

Sepp Blatter has rejected an invitation to take part in a live television debate involving all four candidates ahead of this year's Fifa presidency election.

Blatter has refused to take part in a TV debate ahead of this year's election. Credit: PA

The other three candidates - Fifa vice-president Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, Dutch FA president Michael van Praag and former Portugal international Luis Figo - had all agreed to take part in the debate but current Fifa president Blatter has refused to do so.

The debate was a joint BBC and Sky initiative and Football Association chairman Greg Dyke had offered to host it at Wembley. Blatter's refusal means it will not now take place.

Blatter did not even respond in writing, instead choosing to communicate his decision verbally through a Fifa official.

Blatter rival gets hefty backing for Fifa presidency

Today is Blatter's 79th birthday. Credit: PA

Sepp Blatter celebrated his 79th birthday on Tuesday as one of his rivals for the Fifa presidency obtained some high-level support for his bid to be the most powerful person in world football.

Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan has secured statements of support from the King of Bahrain and Prince Sufri Bolkiah, a senior member of the Brunei royal family.

Although neither of the royals will have a vote at the election on May 29 there is a history, particularly in Arab countries, of the ruling family influencing football policy.

Blatter wants World Cup final before December 18

Fifa president Sepp Blatter says he wants the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar to be played no later than December 18.

Earlier this month a Fifa task force recommended November-December dates for the 2022 Qatar World Cup following concerns about soaring summer temperatures.

UEFA has proposed playing the final at the tournament on December 23, just two days before Christmas, to lessen disruption to its own international matches.

That sparked uproar in Britain as it would threaten the traditional festive club programme.

Blatter, speaking for the first time since a FIFA task force confirmed November/December for the World Cup, said: "Not until the 23rd, definitely not. We have to stop at the 18th."

The FIFA president was speaking in Belfast ahead of a meeting of the International FA Board.

Fifa president Blatter: Uefa is weak

Sepp Blatter says he keeps being asked to run for Fifa president, as no one else in Uefa has the courage to do so.

The current president is running for his fifth term in office and is set to be challenged by Jerome Champagne, Prince Ali Bin Hussein of Jordan and former Tottenham winger David Ginola.

Sepp Blatter has hit out at Uefa. Credit: Reuters

"I have been asked by the national associations to be our candidate again because nobody that is strong was in. So I go there," Blatter told CNN.

"All those who want to get rid of me should come. All this opposition is coming now, it's unfortunate to say - but it's true - it's coming from Nyon, from Uefa. They don't have the courage to come in. So let me go (on) - be respectful."

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Platini wants new FIFA president elected in 2015

FIFA's image has been damaged perhaps beyond repair. Credit: PA

Michel Platini does not believe Sepp Blatter should be re-elected as FIFA president next year.

Blatter came into power at football's world governing body in 1998, and is planning to stand for his fifth term in the 2015 elections, despite a string of allegations of corruption leaving FIFA's reputation in tatters.

"I supported him in 1998 because I think he was the right person at the time but after successive terms it is time to let some fresh air in and leave the place to someone else," UEFA president Platini said.

"The image of Fifa is very, very, very bad so that's why I think it would be good that Blatter stops, but I don't think he wants to."

Blatter to keep Russia and Ukraine apart at World Cup

Blatter will not allow Russia to play Ukraine in the 2018 World Cup group stages. Credit: PA

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has confirmed that Russia and Ukraine will be kept apart in the 2018 World Cup group stages should the Ukrainians qualify for the tournament.

Political tension between the neighbouring states continues to be high with Kiev accusing Moscow of backing Russian separatists in the east of Ukraine.

Blatter replied "you can be sure about this" when asked whether hosts Russia would be kept apart from Ukraine following a politically driven outbreak of violence during a recent match between Serbia and Albania.

Despite accepting the two nations should kept apart, Blatter has refused to support claims the tournament should not be played in Russia if the political climate is still volatile in 2018.

“A boycott never achieves anything and does not have a positive effect. FIFA is fully supporting the World Cup in Russia,” he said.

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