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FIFA president Blatter told to forget foreign limits

FIFA president Sepp Blatter's plans to limit the number of foreign players in domestic football would violate European law, according to the European Commission.

Blatter envisages a '6+5 rule', where clubs would be forced to line up with at least six home-grown players in matches. He will present the proposal to the world governing body's congress in Sydney in May.

When speaking on the idea recently he insisted that he would not challenge the European Union or other law-makers but rather work with them to see that sport was recognised as an appropriate exemption from trade regulations.

However an EC spokesman stated: "The implementation by FIFA of a 6+5 rule in the European Union would violate EU law.

"The Commission is not considering any change to allow FIFA to push forward this idea. FIFA is aware of this fact."

Blatter is concerned about the loss of national identity in club's playing personnel, a phenomenon especially apparent in the Premier League.

"By signing more and more foreign players, clubs have gradually lost their identity," he said.

"In some cases all players hail from abroad or even from a different continent.

"Young players lose their motivation as their perspectives dwindle in terms of one day getting a chance to play in their favourite club's first team."

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Tribal Football Staff

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