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EU red cards Blatter´s six plus five rule

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 28 May 2008

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The European Commission rejected on Wednesday a call from FIFA president Sepp Blatter for a curb on the number of foreign players appearing for club sides, warning it would break EU labour rules.

EU Employment Commissioner Vladimir Spidla said that the European Union's executive arm “cannot accept” plans from Blatter for 'six homegrown players per team' — know as the 6+5 rule.

“Professional players are workers and the principles of free circulation (of workers) has to be respected,” he told journalists in Brussels.

“The six plus five rule would be direct discrimination,” he said. “It's a red card for the six plus five rule.”

Blatter reiterated his call for a limit on foreign players last week, warning that unless a brake 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.

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.

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