Friday, May 30, 2008

Blatter's 6+5 rule

I just want to know if anyone has heard of Fifa President, Sepp Blatter 6+5 rule. The rule which is scheduled to be implemented by 2012, restricts the number of foreign players in a starting lineup to 5.
Blatter is pushing this rule because he believes it will restore national identity to European Leagues who he believes is stifling young talent within their own countries by buying so many foreign players. He also believes the rule will help to get other leagues especially in Africa and South America back on track as these leagues are declining due to the best players from these countries playing in Europe.
Although the rule has faced stiff opposition as it violates European law on the freedom of workers, the president has received the backing of FIFA's delegates with 155 supporting, just 5 against and 40 abstaining from the issue.
Personally I like the free movement of players and I don't really want to see things changed but the 6+5 rule is quite interesting as it will seek to loosen the grip that particularly 5 countries within Europe has on the world's best players. With the implementation of this rule it will be very interesting to see if other clubs other than in Spain, Italy, England, France and Germany can rise among Europe's elite.
The league which I believe will be hit hardest by this rule is the English Premier League where of the 471 first-team players 60% or 280 players are not eligible to play for England. With that said many EPL fans probably don't fancy this rule but only time will tell if it will be implemented.

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