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Friday, May 09, 2008

Blatter Bigotry blasted as EU votes against foreign quotas

The European parliament dealt a blow to the misguided rants of Fifa president Sepp Blatter who planned plans to curb the number of "foreigners" at clubs.

MEPs overwhelmingly rejected by 518 votes to 49 Blatter's "6+5 rule", which tried to restrict a club to no more than five foreign players to start a match.

The European parliment resolution said "The parliament calls on the member states and sports associations not to introduce new rules that create direct discrimination based on nationality, such as Fifa's 6+5".

"It calls on the Commission to recognise the legality of measures favouring the promotion of players who have come through training schemes, such as a minimum number of locally trained players, irrespective of their nationality."

Ivo Belet, the Belgian MEP and author of the parliament's report on the future of professional football, told the assembly: "Unfortunately the 6+5 rule is not compatible with the free movement of persons in the EU. The European Treaty is very clear on this point - discrimination on the basis of nationality is not allowed and this also counts for football."

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