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WORLD CUP USA '94 / QUARTERFINALS : Spotlight : IT HAS NO ARMY

July 09, 1994|ELLIOTT ALMOND

Joao Havelange, president of FIFA, said Friday in Dallas that the international governing body of soccer can do little to prevent such tragedies as the murder of Andres Escobar, the Colombia defender who was shot in Medellin last weekend.

Havelange said nothing could be done by FIFA to stop fanaticism.

Speaking at his first news conference of World Cup '94, Havelange said FIFA made its sentiments known by asking for two minutes of silence before the two games on the day of the murder. Escobar was shot for accidentally kicking in an own goal during a game against the United States.

"You cannot expect FIFA to be in every country and legislate what is occurring," Havelange said. "You cannot expect FIFA to send troops to try to bring about a type of calm to this disorder."

Sepp Blatter, FIFA general secretary, said it would be impossible for FIFA to take any action to quell the emotions of soccer fans.

"If the United Nations are not able to stop any assassinations, how can FIFA, with only its spoken power, stop such cases?" he asked.

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