Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Clubs unite against FIFA plans

Europe's most powerful clubs are prepared to challenge FIFA's plans for restrictions on foreign players.

Members of the newly formed European Club Association (ECA), which represents 103 teams in 53 nations, have voted against the implementation of Sepp Blatter's much-maligned '6+5' rule.

The proposed plans would see clubs forced to field six players in their starting line-up who are eligible to play for the respective national team, despite European Union laws concerning freedom of movement for workers.

With the concept receiving widespread criticism, it is UEFA's alternative approach to curbing foreign influence within teams which is gathering the most support.

Their idea is based on a quota of players being allowed in a club squad as long as they were developed in that country, regardless of nationality.

"There is no necessity for a six-plus-five rule and the organisation favours instead UEFA's homegrown approach," read an ECA statement.

The ECA has been created as a
replacement for the G-14 lobby of clubs, which was deemed elitist and wanting too much influence in how football was run.

The new scheme has announced that their priorities will focus more on helping the players, with ambitions of altering the international calendar in order to cut down on the amount of time they spend away from their club.

The ECA has been recognised by FIFA and UEFA as an independent and democratic forum which is working for the good of the game and the three organisations will work in tandem in the future.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has been implemented as the ECA's chairman, while Barcelona President Joan Laporta will be his right-hand man.

Membership in the organisation is reviewed every two years, with performances in European competition taken into account when deciding which clubs will remain part of the set-up.

Italian football is represented by Inter, Juventus, Milan, Parma and Roma in the ECA.

Source: Sky Sports

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