Fifa plans rule to help local players

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Fifa president Sepp Blatter has already made a strong plea in favour of the new rule, which basically provides that a club team must start a match with at least six players that would be eligible for the national team of the country in which the club is based.

“Over the years and decades, by signing more and more foreign players, clubs have gradually lost their identity, first locally and regionally, and today even nationally as in some cases all players hail from abroad or even from a different continent,” says Blatter.

“Young players lose their motivation in the same way as their perspectives dwindle in terms of one day getting a chance to play in their favourite club’s first team.

“Strong club competitions with huge prize money for the participating clubs have brought about a two-tier society in many countries as the gulf between the haves and have-nots has widened. Only two or three teams play for the league title and all others are fighting against relegation.”

Fifa Executive Committee member Franz Beckenbauer of Germany has backed Blatter in his views.

“We are living in a globalised world. But I do not think that open markets are the right future for the game. You can also be successful with domestic players, and money alone does not guarantee success.”

Some members, however, voiced their doubts over the effectiveness of such a limitation. They fear that top clubs would still buy the best players off the market, effectively depriving medium and smaller clubs, as is currently the case, of good and affordable players.

As an alternative, it was advocated that the presidents of clubs be urged to change their approach so as to restore the equilibrium.