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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 November 2006, 10:18 GMT
Fifa quota proposal angers Wenger
Arsene Wenger
Wenger is against enforcing player quotas on teams
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is fuming over Fifa plans to force clubs to field six homegrown players in each match.

Fifa and the international players' union have proposed a quota whereby a side must name six players eligible for the club's national association.

Wenger said: "Football bodies have to care about the level of the game - that does not mean protecting mediocrity.

"Elite sport is first about quality. I wouldn't like to say I paid 2m for a player as he has the right passport."

When Arsenal reached the Champions League final last season, they only had two Englishmen in their starting XI - Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole, who have both now left the club.

I would never like to feel somebody is better than me, but sits on the bench just because he does not have the right passport.

Arsene Wenger

And defender Justin Hoyte is likely to be the solitary Englishman in the side when the Gunners line up to face West Ham on Sunday.

Wenger added: "I would never like to feel somebody is better than me, but sits on the bench just because he does not have the right passport.

"I am just concerned that when you love football, you have not got to act this way and be big enough, and capable enough to say 'you do not play because you are not good enough'.

"I would prefer to say 'you make 4million per year in wages because you are good enough', rather than say 'I give you 2m a year because I need you and you have the right passport.'"

606: DEBATE
DF

The Arsenal boss added: "What can you say to a guy who pays money to watch your team? 'This player's first touch is not good, yes, we know but he is English. What can I do?'

"You are telling them 'yes, OK he is not good enough, but we have to play him because he is from the right country'.

"I would like to say, 'listen, whether he English, South African, French or South American, he is a good football player'.

"You say to a player, 'you play because you are better'. I have always done that in my life."

SEE ALSO
Fifa proposes limit on foreigners
02 Nov 06 |  Internationals
Uefa threat over foreign quotas
16 Feb 05 |  Football
Time for a foreign quota?
24 Oct 02 |  Sports Talk
Uefa out to trim foreign imports
16 Dec 04 |  Football


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