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Learning English - Words in the News
12 October, 2005 - Published 11:13 GMT
Blatter blasts football's new money men
Sepp Blatter

The head of the governing body for world football has made strong negative comments about the state of the game. Sepp Blatter says that if nothing is done, the future of the game will be threatened. This report from Stephen Evans:

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Sepp Blatter runs the body that runs global football. What he says counts - and what he says is scathing, particularly about the super-rich individuals who are buying big clubs single-handedly.

He feels that the game's now like what he calls a "wild-west style of capitalism". He contrasts the haves and the have-nots in football. Money is scarce at the grass-roots while a few clubs are richer than ever before. He says the source of the rich clubs' wealth is often, as he puts it, "individuals with little or no history of interest in the game.

"Having set foot in the sport seemingly out of nowhere", he continues, "they proceed to throw pornographic amounts of money at it. What they do not understand is that football is more about grass roots than idols; more about giving entertainment and hope to the many than bogus popularity to the few."

And he concludes: "if nothing is done, this new money could suffocate a sport that has 1.3 billion active followers around the world."

Stephen Evans, BBC

Listen to the words

What he says counts
His opinion is very important

very critical and negative

by themselves, with their own money and without the help of other companies or banks

a "wild-west style of capitalism"
an attitude to buying things similar to the lawless period of US history when the strongest and toughest took what they wanted

contrasts the haves and the have-nots
compares the rich and the poor clubs

Money is scarce at the grass-roots
There isn't a lot of money at the ordinary level of football

set foot in

seemingly out of nowhere
without a history of being involved in football

bogus popularity
being well-liked without a good reason

kill (by not letting something breathe)

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