Banned songs? | On open-mike night, Blatter sings new tune

Zurich | Sepp Blatter, for once, may be on to something. In the latest of his open-mike brainstorming sessions, the FIFA chief, disturbed by booing during anthems in the Turkey–Switzerland and other World Cup qualifying playoffs, has suggested eliminating the pre-game rituals. “We should at least consider not playing them,” Blatter told Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte (see BBC version).

In addition to providing opportunities for fans to show disrespect to visitors, the anthems sometimes create moral complexities for players from the home nation. Arab players on Israel’s national side can hardly get behind a lusty rendering of “Hatikva” (see 2 Jun 05).

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