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Women slam Blatter's tight shorts suggestion.

LEADING women footballers in Merseyside yesterday called foul on a suggestion by Fifa's top official that they should play in tighter shorts.

They described the comments by football's most senior administrator Sepp Blatter as ``a disgrace''.

Mr Blatter, the president of world governing body Fifa, sparked anger after suggesting female players wear tighter shorts to promote ``a more female aesthetic''.

Tran-mere Ladies, England star and BBC soccer pundit SueSmith said: ``His comments areadisgrace. A man in such a powerful position as Mr Blatter is taken seriously and it discredits all our efforts for the female game to be taken seriously.

``We don't want people to watch us for tight shorts, we want them to watch us play for our skill. I can see what he is saying from the point of view we do need to promote the game,but wearing hot pants is not the way to go.''

Mr Blatter said women should wear ``morefeminine clothes like they do in volleyball'' adding ``Female players are pretty,if you excuse me for saying so, and they already have some different rules to men - such as playing with alighter ball. That decision was taken to create a more female aesthetic so why not do it in fashion?''

Ms Smith said football is a completely different game to volleyball and called Mr Blatter's comments laughable.

England goalkeeper Pauline Cope said the comments were ``typ-icalof abloke.'' However Keith Marley,manager of the Everton Women's team and husband of former England International Mo Marley, said it was more about being controversial than his gender.

``If Mr Blatter is going to make comments like this he needs to stand down. He obviously doesn't know what he is talking about. I think he just likes to be controversial and enjoys baiting people.''

CAPTION(S):

ANGRY: Sue Smith wants people to watch women play for their skill and dismisses the idea of Sepp Blatter,above right
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 17, 2004
Words:319
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