FIFA's 6+5 rule

Blatter welcomes UK support for 6+5 rule

April 21, 2009

FIFA president Sepp Blatter believes the support of British MPs for his bid to restrict foreign players could be important backing for his effort to have the proposal agreed by Europe.

In a report on the governance of English football, the all-party Parliamentary Football Group - made up of 150 MPs - recommended for Blatter's controversial 6+5 rule to be adopted.

That would create a limit of five foreigners in any starting line-up - but opponents insist that would contravene European law.

Blatter said: ''I would like to express our satisfaction to the all-party Parliamentary Football Group for recommending yesterday that the Football Association and respective English leagues adopt the FIFA-proposed 6+5 rule.

''This report represents another important contribution to the ongoing debate as well as a new mark of support towards the cause we are advocating.

''These recommendations are based on the need to protect national teams, promote youth development, safeguard and encourage clubs investing in training domestic talent, restore the competitiveness of competitions, and reach a harmonious development of football world-wide.''

Blatter said FIFA wanted to introduce the rule gradually to allow clubs time to adjust over several years, and that it need not contravene European law - though that has been disputed by the European Commission.