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FIFA President Sepp Blatter Criticizes Growth of MLS

In a televised Al Jazeera interview, Blatter made several disparaging remarks about the slow development of Major League Soccer. Do his comments have merit, or is this just more Blatter blather?

BY John Godfrey Posted
December 29, 2012
2:14 PM
He's done it again.

Nobel Peace Prize aspirant and FIFA President Sepp Blatter, the man who once suggested that female players dress more provocatively, the person who minimized the damaging effects of racism in the beautiful game, has announced that Major League Soccer is "struggling" and is "not recognized by American society."

Blatter's comments on the American game come right around the 21-minute mark of the video below. Take a look.

This declaration, which he uttered during an interview with an Al Jazeera reporter, might come as a surprise to MLS Commissioner Don Garber, who seemed quite proud of the league's health during a number of interviews around the December 1 MLS Cup Final. In particular, Blatter is critical of how slowly the game has grown in the U.S., making mention of the 1994 World Cup and suggesting the game has not come far enough in the 18 years since then.

Garber, of course, is a big proponent of the league's slow-growth model. Here is a video of the commissioner discussing the league's successes.

So...thoughts? It's hard to take Blatter seriously on just about any topic, but does he have a valid point here? Should the domestic league be further along than it is? Or do you side with Garber and MLS, who adhere to a cautious approach to growing the game? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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