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Blatter claims Fergie backing on 6+5 rule

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has again voiced his support for the so-called 6+5 rule and claims he has backing from none other than Sir Alex Ferguson.

The ruling would force every club side to field no more than five foreign players when a match kicks-off with the remainder of the side made up from ‘homegrown’ players. This in itself has caused much debate as under present rules the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Cristiano Ronaldo could fall into this category having been at Arsenal and Manchester United since their teenage years.

The proposal has caused widespread debate within the game and opponents had claimed it could never be passed due to European Union laws on discrimination and free movement of labour.

However, speaking to BBC Radio Five Live, Blatter remains confident that the ruling can be pushed through and claimed it could even help football through the current economic crisis.

“Manchester United has started to have more (homegrown) players – in the starting XI the other day they had four. I spoke with the leadership, including Sir Alex Ferguson, and he said it is a good solution because it will automatically not only give access to young players but it will also bring back a little of the expenses.

“We are now in an economic crisis,” said Blatter.

Blatter also suggested the ruling could help competition within the Premier League and protect others from its increasing dominance.

“I have my concerns because the Premier League is the strongest league in the world and taking over in such a manner that other leagues have difficulties to match the Premier League. Where is the competition when two-thirds or three-quarters of participants play not to be first? They play not to be relegated.”

The comments will make for a fiery meeting when the Fifa president and Premier League’s chief executive meet in the near future.

Blatter added: “What I want to try if not to persuade him (Scudamore) is to influence him that a 6+5 solution or 5+6 will enhance the quality of his league.”

In a wide-ranging interview the Fifa president also criticised foreign ownership and suggested that England’s 2018 World Cup bid would have more chance of success if led by a figurehead such as David Beckham.

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