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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 10:36, July 07, 2006
Blatter worried World Cup could be lowest scoring ever
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FIFA president Sepp Blatter is worried that this year's World Cup might end up the lowest scoring ever, and said changes must be made to make football attractive again.

The 2006 World Cup has seen 2.27 goals per match so far, just a shade above the record low of 2.21 from 1990. This year's average would dip below that if no goals are scored in Saturday's Germany-Portugal third-place game and the France-Italy final Sunday.

"The football isn't that bad, but there aren't enough goals, and when there are too few goals, the public isn't very enthusiastic," Blatter said.

"The essence of the game is goals."

Blatter wants to devise changes that will help attackers break through increasingly sophisticated defenses.

"We will set up a large symposium with the 32 World Cup coaches, the referees, the doctors and the technical study group of the World Cup," said the FIFA chief.

"We want to hear what they have to say about what we can do to make football more attractive again."

Ideas might include widening the goals and revamping offside rules. After the low-scoring 1990 World Cup, FIFA reacted by eliminating the pass back to the goalkeeper.

Blatter ruled out one proposal of reducing teams to 10 men to counteract the growing speed and size of defenders, and hopes instead that teams will adopt more attacking styles.

"If it's an open game, there is enough room for 11 players, but with 11 defenders there is not enough space," said Blatter.

Source: Xinhua

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