Blatter forces Liverpool boss Benitez to delay transfer plans

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Blatter has proposed to his organisation's congress a regulation stipulating that every team must field six starting players eligible to represent the country they play in. The matter will be put to a vote on May 29 and 30.

If Blatter's plan is passed then Englishmen such as Pennant and Crouch - as well as Benitez's England-international targets Gareth Barry, of Aston Villa, and Blackburn Rovers' David Bentley - would become even more coveted commodities.

"We know what are the rules and we will try to do things whatever happens with Fifa," said Benitez. "Crouch and Pennant are under contract and they are our players. We are waiting now. We know they have been playing well and a lot of clubs are interested in them so we will wait and see. But they are under contract."

Liverpool would be among the most heavily affected teams in the Premier League if the move is passed by Fifa. Liverpool started 42 matches with either only one or two English-qualified players this season, starting with three 17 times and with four on only one occasion.

"I feel the key is for the fans to see the best players on the pitch," said Benitez. "It is clear - in the past you would talk about a lot of local players but all the teams want to sign players and the best players come from all over the world."

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