Monday, October 30, 2006

Blatter says Italy should not have made it to the quarterfinals

FIFA boss Sepp Blatter yesterday said that Italy should not have made it past their match against Australia and into the quarterfinals.

"The Socceroos should have gone into the quarterfinals in place of Italy," Blatter said Sunday. "They were up to beat Italy."

For those who might not remember, the ref awarded a penalty kick to the Italians in the final seconds of stoppage time, effectively giving Italy the win. I thought the call was wrong then and I'm glad to see Blatter agree.

However, 24-hours and I'm guessing a few angry words from the Italians seem to have changed his mind. Blatter released a statement today changing his mind on the matter.

"With my statement I simply wanted to pay credit to the Socceroos, as well, because they played a great match and their lack of experience did not permit them to go to extra time," Blatter said.

The FIFA statement said Blatter "never did make disrespectful comments about the reigning world champions."

"The Italian team proved that despite serious pressures at home, they stuck together as a team and delivered exceptional football," Blatter said. "The Italian team proved that superior skills, teamwork and individual determination are the ingredients that lead to World Cup glory."

So which way is it Sepp? Should Italy have advanced or not? Sounds like you're not that sure yourself.


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