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Page last updated at 12:04 GMT, Thursday, 17 April 2008 13:04 UK

Blatter steps up player veto plan

Fifa president Sepp Blatter
Blatter is still keen to implement his 6+5 ruling

Fifa president Sepp Blatter is pressing on with plans to limit the number of foreign players at clubs, despite Uefa and European Union disapproval.

Blatter wants to enforce a rule that would stop clubs fielding more than five non-nationals in a starting XI.

The EU insists the plan violates laws on free movement of labour and could lead to widespread legal action.

But Blatter wants national associations to make a "gentlemen's agreement" at Fifa's annual conference in May.

To change the rule, the Swiss would need 75% of the 208 member associations to vote in favour of his proposal at the congress in Sydney.

"Blatter doesn't want a war with Uefa or to anger the EU but this is a point of principle for him," said one FIFA official.


"When he became president he made a promise on this and he sees this as a major legacy of his time in office.

"He believes he can get a gentleman's agreement with all the national associations."

Uefa president Michel Platini is against Blatter's proposal and refused to accompany him to the EU headquarters last week to push forward the plan's merits.

Therefore Blatter cancelled his visit to Brussels but an EU official stated: "As far as the EU is concerned, Blatter is flogging a dead horse and any discussion would have been pointless."

Uefa favours setting a quota for the number of locally trained players at clubs, which removes the emphasis on nationality, but Fifa says that plan does not go far enough.

see also
Blatter faces player quota veto
20 Feb 08 |  Football
Blatter hostile to overseas plan
15 Feb 08 |  Premier League
Blatter wants EU to allow quotas
26 Nov 07 |  Football

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