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Last Updated: Monday, 19 December 2005, 15:17 GMT
Fifa boss Blatter attacks Chelsea
Fifa president Sepp Blatter
Fifa president Sepp Blatter has launched an attack on Chelsea as he called for limits on foreign stars.

Blatter said: "If a club can only have five foreigners among their starting 11, then they will have to build on their own youth system.

"If Chelsea were forced to have five foreigners then Roman Abramovich could not go on buying the best players across the world for exorbitant fees.

"Chelsea is the example of what should not happen."

Blatter made his comments in an interview with Fifa's official 2006 World Cup countdown magazine.

He wants restrictions on imports and said: "This helps the public identify with the players in the team. It would also ensure the rich do not get richer and the poor become poorer."

Blatter had previously cited Liverpool as a team without enough home-grown players, but said the issue was ultimately down to individual national associations.

"This is the system which Fifa thinks is right," said Blatter.

"In clubs like Liverpool and Bayern Munich there's only one or two domestic players. This isn't good for football."

Liverpool's first-team squad includes the likes of Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Peter Crouch, Stephen Warnock and Scott Carson - all of whom are qualified to play for England.

The rest of the Reds squad is a cosmopolitan mix including six Spanish players.

However, several other Premiership clubs have similar proportions of English and overseas players.

European Union rules on the free movement of workers within the member states are one obvious barrier to Blatter's proposals, but he said he hoped a compromise could be reached.

"National identity is very important," Blatter added.

"But the regulations of the club competitions are not made by Fifa but by the national associations and it is up to them and their leagues to limit the entry of foreign players."


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