Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Ian Lynam: FIFA's 6+5 Proposal

The Memorandum of Understanding entered into between FIFA and FIFPro on 2 November 2006 stated that FIFA and FIFPro had agreed on "introducing, over several seasons, the 6+5 system regarding eligibility for national teams." Sepp Blatter mentioned the "6+5" proposal in his address to Soccerex on 26 November 2006 and again referred to it in an interview published on 4 December 2006 in which he said "the '6+5' is coming, for sure".

FIFA have been slow to provide details as to how they propose to implement this rule but it seems that each club XI would be required to include six players eligible to play for the national side of the country in which the club is located. Eligibility to play international football under current FIFA rules is determined purely on the basis of the citizenship/nationality that a player holds.

FIFA's proposal, therefore, would clearly represent a directly discriminatory restriction on the free movement of professional footballers in breach of Article 39 of the EC Treaty. It is a similar type of restriction to the pre-Bosman "3+2" rule and the "Italians only" rule that existed in Italy in the 1970s. The ECJ’s decision in Bosman made it very clear that restrictions of this type are in breach of European law:

"…Article [39] of the Treaty precludes the application of rules laid down by sporting associations under which, in matches in competitions which they organize, football clubs may field only a limited number of professional players who are nationals of other Member States."

It seems extremely unlikely, therefore, that the "6+5" proposal would survive a legal challenge.



Visitor Counter said...

FIFA should get their act together.


Email address is not published
Remember Me
Please enter the characters in the image below:

This Is CAPTCHA Image