Blatter: One day football will be played on other planets

The FIFA president, who on Tuesday faced calls to stand down from several high-ranking UEFA delegates, has suggested that Earth might not be the limit of football's expansion
SAO PAULO -- Sepp Blatter insists there is no reason why football could not one day be played on other planets.

Speaking at the start of the second day of FIFA congress in Sao Paulo, Blatter delivered a speech aimed at highlighting the global reach of the game and its potential to bring about change in the world.

But as he finished addressing the assembled FIFA dignitaries and journalists, the 78-year-old speculated that Earth might not be the limit of football's expansion.

"We should wonder if one day our game will be played on other planets. Why not? And then instead of a World Cup we would have an inter-planetary competition," he said.

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Such comments are unlikely to do Blatter any favors at a time when his position as FIFA president is coming under renewed pressure from several high-ranking UEFA delegates, who on Tuesday called for him to stand down.

The Swiss, who succeeded Joao Havelange as FIFA president in June 1998, is considering running for a fifth term as head of the organization in 2015.

But both Blatter and FIFA have been criticized for their perceived unwillingness to tackle the scandals that have dogged world football's governing body in recent times - specifically allegations of corruption over World Cup bids and the problems surrounding the preparation work for the 2014 finals in Brazil.

Blatter caused fresh controversy earlier this week when he claimed that the British media's coverage of allegations of impropriety in Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup was "racist."