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Fifa plans talks on player quotas

Fifa president Sepp Blatter
Blatter would like to see the rule in place by 2012

Fifa is planning new talks with the European Commission to discuss plans to limit the number of foreign players.

Football's world governing body wants to stop clubs fielding more than five non-nationals in a starting XI, a move the EU says would be illegal.

But a report by the Institute for European Affairs (INEA), commissioned by Fifa, says the plans do not fall foul of EU regulations.

"There is no conflict with European law," said INEA boss Jurgen Gramke.

He also insisted that although the report was commissioned by Fifa, it was completely independent.

"We took no instructions from Fifa," added Professor Gramke. "INEA accepted this commission on condition that our requirements of complete independence were met."

606: DEBATE
Fifa's "6+5" rule was approved by 155 of the organisation's member nations last year.

But the European Commission believes a quota on foreign players would be incompatible with EU law as it amounts to discrimination at work and a restriction on the free movement of workers.

However, the report added: "The key aim of the 6+5 rule in the view of the experts is the creation and assurance of sporting competition.

"The 6+5 rule does not impinge on the core area of the right to freedom of movement.

"The rule is merely a rule of the game declared in the general interest of sport in order to improve the sporting balance between clubs and associations."

A Fifa spokesman said the report would form the basis of a new round of talks with the EU.

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see also
SPL sanguine on player quota idea
26 Feb 09 |  Scottish Premier
Clubs vote for 'home-grown' rule
18 Dec 08 |  Football
Blatter stands firm on quota plan
11 Jul 08 |  Football
Fifa's quota plans concern Dein
01 Jun 08 |  Europe
SPL split over Fifa quota plans
31 May 08 |  Scottish Premier
Blatter steps up player veto plan
17 Apr 08 |  Football
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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