Friday afternoon question: Does 6 + 5 equal nothing but trouble?
FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s plans to limit the number of foreign players in a team, otherwise known as the “6+5″ rule, received overwhelming backing at FIFA’s congress in Sydney on Friday.
His plans, which would see clubs allowed to field a maximum of five foreign players, are contradictory to European Union laws and Brussels has already warned of legal action against any country which allows this rule to be implemented. Many national associations, leagues and clubs also say the plan is unfair and unworkable.
Blatter is forging ahead with the idea “for the good of the game” and says he has the backing of the fans.
But does he? Would such a rule make it fairer for smaller clubs? Or would it lead to, say, Manchester United and Chelsea buying all the best English players, or Real Madrid cherry-picking Spanish players for reasons of nationality rather than ability?
UEFA says its “home-grown player” rule — which has the backing of Brussels — is a “more balanced” approach.
Under this rule, clubs would have to have in their squads at least eight locally trained players, defined as players who have spent three years with that club or a club in the same association between the age of 15 and 21, without any nationality conditions.
UEFA says this will make clubs invest more in local talent and give any youngsters coming from Africa or Latin America better training and education.
What do you think? Is this merely a romantic idea that hasn’t a snowball’s chance in a world of soccer dominated by money? If it does go through, would it really benefit the game? Give us your thoughts in the comments.
PHOTO: FIFA President Sepp Blatter listens to a delegate on day two of the 58th FIFA congress in Sydney May 30, 2008. REUTERS/Will Burgess