FIFA Pres Sepp Blatter will try to broker a “gentleman’s agreement” on player nationality at the FIFA Congress in the end of May. (Getty Images)

EU, UEFA Opposing FIFA

The European Union passed a resolution condemning FIFA’s “6+5” rule that would keep local players in their own national leagues. The resolution vote was overwhelmingly against FIFA at 518 to 49.

Blatter plans to discuss the 6+5 rule at the FIFA congress in Sydney on May 29 and 30.

“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,” according to the resolution.

“It calls on the Commission to recognize the legality of measures favoring the promotion of players who have come through training schemes, such as a minimum number of locally-trained players, irrespective of their nationality.”

Earlier in the week, FIFA President Sepp Blatter said he would pursue the policy of limiting player movement based on nationality despite opposition from UEFA and the EU.

Teams would have to start each match with five players from the nation in which they are playing. Blatter is proposing the rule to help nurture local talent, a goal UEFA is solidly behind.

However, by restricting players by nationality, FIFA would violate EU law.

UEFA proposes a “home-grown” requirement that club teams must have a quota of players trained in the country’s national league, but not necessarily from that nation.

SALOC Chairman Irvin Khoza at the May 6 SALOC board meeting. (Getty Images)

Blatter says club teams will just sign players at a younger age if the home-grown measure is implemented instead of his 6+5 rule.

Port Elizabeth to Host Confederations Cup

Despite worries the new stadium in Port Elizabeth will not be complete, FIFA has given the South African Local Organizing Committee tentative support as one of five stadiums to be used for the Confederations Cup in June 2009. The announcement came at SALOC board meeting.

“At this stage, all five stadiums are still in. We are placing tight monitoring on all of them and if by any chance, any of them fails to comply with the agreed deadlines, they would be removed from the FIFA Confederations Cup schedule,” SALOC chairman Irvin Khoza told African media.

Tickets will cost $10 to $200, and marketers will focus on the domestic market.

SALOC also has stayed well within budget during the building process, according

Javier Mascherano says he wants to play in the Olympics. (Getty Images)

to organizers.

“We have been very prudent in our expenditure. We have done our best to avoid a situation where we run out of funds at the tail end of our preparations,” chief executive Danny Jordaan told African media.

Last year, SALOC spent about $24 million of an allocated $27 million. According to African media, SALOC has spent only six percent of what FIFA has given it.

Pro Wants to Play for Country

Javier Mascherano of Argentina says he wants to play for his country in the Olympics this summer – even if it means missing games for his team.

Mascherano said he knows Liverpool has big games during the Olympics, but he wants his manager to release him.

“It is a difficult situation. It’s very important for any footballer to win the Olympics,” Mascherano tells the Press Association.

Mascherano is the second player to say he would like to be released. Brazilian player Kaka also says he wants to play in the Olympics, but it is unlikely his team, AC Milan, will allow him to leave the team during a critical time in the season.


Chad can play in tournaments again as an emergency FIFA session lifted the sanction for government interference. The Chad government repealed its ministerial decrees that prompted FIFA action. Last week, FIFA lifted a ban on Albania for the same offense.

Benin coach Reinhard Fabisch resigned this week citing health concerns. The German leaves his team in a pickle as its next World Cup qualifying match is June 7 against Uganda.

Written by Eric Connelly

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