"Brutal" tackles must stop, says senior FIFA executive

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LONDON (Reuters) -- Stricter sanctions must come in and a new mentality fostered to end "brutal" tackling, a senior FIFA executive committee member said on Thursday.

Belgian Michel D'Hooghe, who is also chairman of FIFA's medical committee, said he knew of players who had intentionally gone out to injure their opponents and that world soccer's governing body should let everyone know this cannot continue.

"I have made myself a compilation of hard tackles with dramatic consequences over the last two or three years in the most important competitions in the world," D'Hooghe said at the Leaders in Football Conference.

"I do not dare to present it, it would take away your appetite. It is terrible. This must go out (of the game).

"Sometimes I call the referee the first doctor on the pitch, not because he has to have a medical knowledge, but because he has a role in that most important part of medicine, namely prevention," added D'Hooghe.

"This is my wish, that all that brutality that sometimes goes close to criminality on the pitch is thrown out in the interest of our players and of a nice football game."

Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong was dropped from the Dutch national squad on Monday after his tackle, which went unpunished at the time, broke the leg of Newcastle United's Hatem Ben Arfa in an English Premier League game on Sunday.

D'Hooghe, who was president of the organising committee for Euro 2000, said he was intent on increasing sanctions to punish dangerous tackles.

"If you permit yourself to end the career of your colleague in the other shirt, why should I say that you should come back after 14 days?" he said.

"I think you should sanction these things very severely, that means a long, long expulsion from the game."