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FIFA president Sepp Blatter has warned that football runs the risk of losing its identity because of fewer homegrown players.

“The reality is that in today’s leagues the ready-made player is sought after,” Blatter said Monday at the 55th FIFA Congress.

“Where are the other players? On the bench or in the stands. There is a loss of local, regional and national identity. There are 11 players from different lands playing in one club.”

Blatter claimed the spending power of the wealthier clubs in Europe has increased the gulf between rich and poor.

“The rich use everything on the market,” Blatter said. “This promotes an exodus of African players.

“The forming of young players has been abandoned,” Blatter said. “Governments should help football by organizing national federations. We need to resolve this problem through dialogue.”

Blatter also reiterated his opposition to the use of television replays to resolve contentious decisions.

“Let’s make sure football retains a human face,” he said.

Blatter also said FIFA is at the forefront in the fight against doping.

“We are leaders in sports medicine research. We were front-runners in the fight against doping,” Blatter said.

“We are fighting against doping. But we are accused (by WADA) with every name.”

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