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Blatter warns against boys from Brazil (SN)

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 May 2008

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FIFA boss Sepp Blatter has reiterated his call for a curb on the number of foreign players appearing for club sides.

The head of world football said he would be asking the next FIFA congress to adopt his controversial 'six homegrown players per team' plan.

He warned that unless a break was put on the rate of players switching nationalities almost half of the 736 players at the 2014 World Cup, which is being hosted by Brazil, would be Brazilian.

“We must extend the period of residency from two to five years. Today in Brazil, 6,000 professional footballers are eligible to play for any league in the world,” he told Friday's edition of Le Monde newspaper.

Blatter plans to raise his controversial plan with the powers that be in the world of football and “political authorities” as well as with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and UEFA chief Michel Platini who while not opposed to the 'six plus five' idea believes it to be illegal.

“I'm counting a lot on these two Frenchmen (Sarkozy and Platini).

“France's taking over of the presidency of the European Union on July 1 and the presence in the French government of Bernard Laporte (former France rugby union coach) can enable us to move towards a solution.”

The Swiss-born Blatter added: “I'll be asking the FIFA congress for approval to discuss this with actors in football and political authorities… The new European treaty acknowledges sport's individuality.

“The European Union can therefore apply the '6+5' rule without harming the sacrosanct freedom of movement.”

Blatter though faces an uphill struggle given that on May 8 the European Parliament voted against his '6+5' plan with European football president Platini declaring the concept “a good idea” but “completely illegal”.

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