FIFA boss Blatter puts Hammam in his place

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has pulled rank on Asian soccer chief Mohamed Bin Hammam over clubs playing in foreign leagues, the latest disagreement between the pair who often talk of their close friendship.

Bin Hammam recently called for Wellington Phoenix to be booted out of Australia's A-League by 2011, but Blatter said it was not the business of the Asian Football Confederation and the New Zealand side had FIFA's "blessing" to play in Australia.

"It's not a matter of the confederations to decide," Blatter was quoted as saying by Sunday's New Zealand Herald. "Therefore, this problem cannot be an Asian problem. The Asian confederation cannot interfere."