London, March 7: Sepp Blatter, the president of Fifa, has called for lifetime bans on players who commit dangerous challenges that could result in an horrific injury.
Blatter was speaking in the wake of the injury to Arsenal's Eduardo who was left with a fractured fibula and dislocated ankle following a challenge by Birmingham City's Martin Taylor. Dangerous tackling is one of the most important issues in football at the moment," said Blatter, who will be in Gleneagles this weekend for a meeting of Fifa's international board. "Players who do this kind of thing intentionally should be banned from the game."
Blatter also believes players should be exposed to criminal proceedings if they are guilty of a reckless tackle. "Attacking somebody is criminal," he said. "Whether it happens on a football pitch or elsewhere. It is a crime and should be treated as such.
Before, the problem was tackling from behind, but now the players are doing it from the front and from the side. This is a matter we will discuss this weekend. We will not only make recommendations to the referees we will instruct them to be stronger against this violence."
Blatter also said that players should receive more protection from referees.
"The referees should be aware that if there is a very good player, they need to protect him," Blatter said. "And then they must pay attention to the defender who wants to kick him out of the game and tell the defender that he is being watched. That is the psychology the referees must use."
Blatter is no stranger to controversy and his comments on homosexuals in women's football will be condemned.
He said; "There are gay footballers but they don't declare it because they think it will not be accepted in these macho organisations. Look at women's football: homosexuality is more popular there."
In 2004 Blatter was attacked for saying women players should wear tighter shorts.