FIFA intends to press ahead with plans to increase the number of home-grown players at clubs after a study said the idea was compatible with European law.
The 6+5 proposal, whereby clubs would have to field six players eligible for their league’s national side, had stalled after the European Union (EU) said it breached the community’s rules on freedom of movement of workers.
A legal study conducted by the Institute for European Affairs (INEA) has offered hope to FIFA that their proposals would work within the current EU guidelines.
“At least what we can say with the study is that our approach is not incompatible with European law,” FIFA President Sepp Blatter told reporters.
“Can you imagine what would happen if all political entities in the world… made the same intervention in sports as the EU? There would be no international sports.”
If the 6+5 idea is defeated, Blatter said the battle for its adoption would have fringe benefits.
“The autonomy of sport, this is the objective. The objective is not 6+5. Already you can see it more and more – local players are playing for local clubs,” he said.
As well as taking on the EU, FIFA is at loggerheads with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) over their new testing procedures.
Under the new requirements, athletes have to inform their national anti-doping authorities of their location for an hour every day. Tennis players have said the rules are too strict while FIFA thought team sports should be dealt differently to individual pursuits.
“We thought with WADA everything was okay. But now we are a bit surprised by certain declarations by WADA that there will be no exceptions for any sports,” Blatter said.
“We have written a letter from our scientific department to WADA. It is not a question of not fighting doping, but one should not go in for witch-hunting as this has never had a good outcome.”