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Last Updated: Monday, 26 November 2007, 10:48 GMT
Blatter wants EU to allow quotas
Sepp Blatter
Blatter has long opposed the loss of local identity at clubs
Fifa president Sepp Blatter is intent on persuading European lawmakers to enable limits to be imposed on overseas players appearing for club sides.

Blatter says his "six plus five" plan - six homegrown players per team - can succeed if Fifa convinces the European Union to create an exceptional ruling.

"European law cannot rule the world as far as football is concerned," he said.

Current EU law prevents quotas being imposed, because it considers them to be "direct discrimination".

Blatter's proposal is to be debated at the Fifa congress in Sydney next May.

A lot of people around the world are saying, yes please do it, even the owners of the clubs are saying this
Sepp Blatter
Fifa president

But for it to be implemented the new EU treaty, currently being formulated by member states, would have to include an exceptional ruling for sport.

Yet a spokesman for the European Commission - the EU's executive branch - told BBC Sport earlier this month that the freedom of movement legislation will not be altered and that no exceptions are to be granted.

Blatter remains undeterred and before Sunday's draw for the preliminary round of the 2010 World Cup finals, said Fifa must "convince the purists in the application of European law".

He continued: "Can FIFA impose a quota system worldwide for the better development of national team players?

"The answer is definitely yes, if there is the will and determination of the FIFA Congress.

"But football has the opportunity now to deal with this problem. A lot of people around the world are saying, yes please do it, even the owners of the clubs are saying this."


Blatter claimed the EU is to adopt a number of processes to "stop the overwhelming presence of non-national players in club leagues" in its new Reform Treaty.

The debate about imposing limits on overseas players has intensified recently, with particular focus on the English Premier League after the national team's 3-2 loss to Croatia which eliminated them from Euro 2008.

Blatter has also warned of the threat of naturalised Brazilian 'invaders' playing for other countries.

Some countries only require players to be resident for two years before handing them passports, such as Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva, who plays for Croatia.

"If we don't stop this farce, if we don't take care about the invaders from Brazil towards Europe, Asia and Africa then, in the 2014 or the 2018 World Cup, out of the 32 teams you will have 16 full of Brazilian players," he said.

"This is a real, real danger. Two years is definitely not enough. In Brazil there are 60 million football players; every third person kicks the ball."

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