The All Parliament Football Group (APFG) that I bored you with some posts back, spoke in favour of the FIFA 5+6 rule in their REPORT.
The 6+5 rule proposes that 6 of the 11 football players on the pitch have to be of the nationality of the country of the football club, or rather qualify to play for the national team of that country. APFG urged the Minister of Sport and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to lobby the EU “to facilitate the adoption of FIFA’s 6+5 proposal by football associations in member states”.
The APFG seem to up against a pretty strong force here (even if they unsurprisingly lured Sepp Blatter out of the box as the 6+5 proposal was not only “red carded” by the EU commission a year ago but was again dismissed by Jan Figel, the European commissioner for culture and the EC's highest authority on sporting matters even before having had talks with FIFA people and before his own ordered analysis was ready. According to an article in the Guardian he said "The Commission cannot agree to an illegal system," and "So, as long as Fifa keeps on proposing the 6+5 rule as it is currently formulated, the Commission will not be able to endorse [it] within the European Union. It's as simple as that: the 6+5 rule cannot apply within the EU."
So good luck with that project, APFG!
APFG had this as part of their agenda to develop the national game, and even if I don’t care too much for the national team I think that it's important that the clubs have some kind of “local” connection. We all ridiculed l’Arse some years ago when they fielded the first “English” side in history not including a single UK or even Irish player, but this is not a Wenger phenomenon any more. In fact, on average only 4 of 11 starting PL players are English (Chelskij, Manure, l’Arse and ‘pool average 2.6!). Some say that this is the overshadowing reason for the discrepancy between international success at club and national level (and what are the deductions you make out of that?).
Against Stoke our starting XI saw 5 UK players (Green, Tomkins, Upson, Noble and Stanislas) and even if late substitutions saw Sears and Collison upping that average, we are an average PL side in this sense. What will our stats be when all our players are fit and what does the Zola/Nani connection mean in this sense?
Are there other ways to secure a high representation of “local” players in a top 5 PL side? Or is it at all desirable?
I’ll be back with a post on the UEFA “homegrown player” initiative shortly.