FIFA and European Union are set to collide

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Saturday, May 31, 2008

FIFA, the world's governing body for football (soccer), and the European Union are set to collide over the controversial 6+5 Rule.

The problem is that FIFA wants to limit the number of foreign players in the starting 11 to a maximum 5 players per side while the European Union allows free movement of workers making FIFA's 6+5 Rule illegal within the European Union.

Despite the legal issue about the 6+5 Rule within the European Union, FIFA President Sepp Blatter presented the 6+5 Rule to FIFA Congress where the member national associations of FIFA would vote on examining the issue further.

The FA in England was quoted on their website saying, "At today's meeting of the FIFA Congress in Sydney, The FA voted in favour of further exploration of the "6+5" rule proposed by FIFA President Sepp Blatter." The FA further said, "The resolution, adopted overwhelmingly by the Congress, requested that the FIFA and UEFA Presidents work with key figures within the world of sport to examine how the proposal might work within the limits of the law."

The FA, the national association for England, indicated that having more "high-quality English players" is an "absolute priority."

A reservation of the FA is the legality of the 6+5 Rule but they "welcome further exploration of its legality."

Spain and Real Madrid Goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, has also indicated to be in favour of FIFA's 6+5 Rule stating, it would be "exceptional" for players developed for "Homegrown player."

On May 8, the European Union voted against the 6+5 Rule and have indicated that they will take legal action against any national association within the European Union that introduces FIFA's 6+5 Rule.

Depending if and how fast FIFA gets their way, the 6+5 rule can be implemented as soon as 2012 with smaller variations leading the way to 2012.

Timeline

  • February 4, 2008: FIFA's Football Committee decides in a meeting to favour the 6+5 Rule.
  • May 8, 2008: European Parliament voted against the 6+5 Rule proposal.
  • May 28, 2008: The European Union has indicated that they will take legal action against any national association that applies FIFA's 6+5 Rule.
  • May 30, 2008: FIFA members voted in favour of a 6+5 Rule. 155 associations voted in support for the objectives of the 6+5 Rule that would require clubs to start all matches with at least 6 players who are eligible for the national team. Only 5 voted against and 40 didn't cast a vote.
  • May 30, 2008: In response to FIFA's overwhelming support from the 58th FIFA Congress, the European Union reiterated how the 6+5 Rule would violate European law because "it would fall foul of the EU's anti-discrimination legislation..."

The effect of the 6+5 Rule on England's FA Premier League

The Telegraph took a look at the last Day of the FA Premier League to see how clubs matched up with the 6+5 Rule. The table below shows 2 sets of results.

  • The 1st set of results indicates if clubs met the required 6 National players based on if the 6+5 Rule applies to only English-qualified players.
  • The 2nd set of results indicates if clubs met the required 6 National players based on if the 6+5 Rule applies to British-qualified players.

According to the Telegraph, British players might be exempted from the rule meaning that English teams might not be penalized for fielding Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish players. The same would apply for teams in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Match From Home Team From Away Team
Home Team vs. Away Team English Players British Players English Players British Players
Birmingham City vs. Blackburn Rovers 3 5 3 3
Chelsea F.C. vs. Bolton Wanderers 4 4 6 6
Portsmouth F.C. vs. Fulham F.C. 3 3 3 5
Middlesbrough F.C. vs. Manchester City 4 4 2 2
Derby County vs. Reading F.C. 3 7 5 7
Sunderland A.F.C vs. Arsenal F.C. 3 6 1 1
Wigan Athletic vs. Manchester United 5 6 5 5
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool F.C. 4 5 2 2
West Ham United vs. Aston Villa 7 8 6 6
Everton F.C. vs. Newcastle United 4 5 6 6



Sources

Wikinews
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Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
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