Blatter Defends 6+5
On 6 October, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter spoke to the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education in Brussels about the 6+5 plan. He told the members of the European Parliament about the reasoning behind the proposal, whose objective is to protect young footballers and players who are eligible to play for the national team of the country where they earn their living.
Having been given a mandate by the FIFA Congress in Sydney last May, the FIFA President told the European Parliament about the number of non-eligible players currently taking part in national championships. Blatter mounted a defence of the 6+5 initiative, which would require clubs to field at least six players eligible for the national team of the country in which the club is based. Following the meeting, the FIFA President was joined by Belgian MEP Ivo Belet for a press conference during which a number of different issues came up for discussion. From the need for controls on the ownership of clubs to the fight against racism in football, the FIFA President did not overlook any of the burning issues in the modern game. He also used the opportunity to once again advocate the principles of the 6+5 plan. In that connection, he made the following statement to the EU bodies: “The 6+5 concept aims to encourage the protection of minors, combat trafficking, help clubs consolidate their identity and make competitions fairer.”
The FIFA President also spoke of how the proposal might potentially be implemented: “FIFA will not take a decision that would bring it before the European courts. We will not do anything that goes against the law. Having said that, certain laws may be open to different interpretations. Nothing lasts forever these days, not even laws. I will continue to promote this initiative in the future, as I have a mandate from the FIFA Congress to set this plan in motion. In doing so, I can also count on the support of the International Olympic Committee and numerous sports federations.”
Blatter ended by pointing out that France, which currently holds the EU presidency, gave its support to the 6+5 plan when French sports minister Bernard Laporte addressed the Parliament back in July.