Blatter powerless to stop transfer fees soaring

ZURICH Tue Sep 3, 2013 3:02pm BST

FIFA President Sepp Blatter addresses the media after meeting the presidents of the soccer federations of Israel and Palestine at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich September 3, 2013. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

FIFA President Sepp Blatter addresses the media after meeting the presidents of the soccer federations of Israel and Palestine at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich September 3, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

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ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Tuesday he was powerless to stop transfer fees from rocketing following the world record fee of 100 million euros (84 million pounds) paid by Real Madrid for Welsh winger Gareth Bale.

"(Even) when you say a country is poor or in debt, you always find money in football," Blatter told reporters.

"If the price of a player is high or not high, I think it's the market that decides and we cannot intervene in the market."

Blatter said he doubted that any player was worth the sum paid for Bale.

"If a player is the value of that, I doubt it, but I cannot stop it," he said.

Blatter said he remembered a similar controversy when Brazilian forward Ronaldo moved from Inter Milan to Real Madrid in 2002.

"At the same time, there was an auction at Sothebys in London where they sold a Picasso painting from the blue period for more than more than 50 million pounds ($78 million)," said Blatter.

"So I said, the man who acquired this painting, he will put it somewhere closed circuit because it's dangerous to lose it.

"But Ronaldo, you will see him twice every week in a stadium."

(Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by John Mehaffey)

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