Vol. 4 Num 237 Sat. January 24, 2004  

African Nations Cup, Tunisia 2004
Blatter irked

FIFA president Sepp Blatter launched a double offensive on football fashion on Friday warning that Cameroon's revolutinary one-piece strip is illegal and then insisting that women players should be grateful for his remarks suggesting they should wear sexier clothing.

Cameroon's new outfit, which combines jersey and shorts, has zips on the shoulders and red flashes on the sides which the manufacturer describes as "scratches" in keeping with Cameroon's nickname of the Indomitable Lions.

But Blatter is not impressed.

"This happened at the last African Nations Cup in Mali where the manufacturer gave them sleeveless shirts but the rules drawn up by the International Board say that a shirt must include the sleeves," Blatter told a press conference here.

"We will now have a meeting in February to discuss this new mono-shirt but rule four stipulates that kits should have contrasting colours and that is not happening if you are wearing a one piece body-suit.

"I am sorry that the suppliers didn't talk to us about it before they started manufacturing. We could have told them that they are not acceptable.

"If Cameroon play in this bodysuit, it will be against the laws of the game."

Blatter also said that his recent remarks about women players in which he was reported to have claimed that the sport would win more fans if they turned out in skin tight shorts had given women's soccer a huge boost.

"There was a hint of creativity by the media in what I said but it put women's football on the front pages of newspapers even in those countries where the sport is not popular," he said.

"I think that instead of complaining, women players should have applauded what I said."