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By ESPN Staff
Feb 18, 2008

Kaiser warning to 'cocky' Premier League bosses

Franz Beckenbauer believes there are some merits in the Premier League's proposal for an 'international round' - but has warned that it would be 'cocky' to go against FIFA's wishes.

The German, who is a FIFA executive committee member, said England's bid for the 2018 World Cup will not have a chance unless they go 'hand-in-hand' with the world governing body.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has already expressed his vehement opposition to the Premier League's plan for each club to hold a 39th game in a foreign city.

Beckenbauer, speaking in St Petersburg at the Laureus sports awards, said: 'If FIFA is against this idea to put Premier League games outside the country, I wouldn't do it.

'The decision on who gets the World Cup 2018 will happen very soon and England are one of the favourites. At this time I wouldn't be so cocky to go against FIFA.

'In this period if you want to be the World Cup host you have to get hand-in-hand with FIFA - otherwise you don't get the chance.'

Beckenbauer believes however it is a good idea to export football - and even suggested playing the FA Cup final in China.

He added: 'It's a good idea that with important games such as the FA Cup final, instead of playing at Wembley play it in Beijing or in Shanghai or wherever.

'I think it's a good idea from the clubs. I realise the comment of the FIFA president - he doesn't like it so much.

'He realises these games disturb the market but it is great promotion for important games in the Premier League being played outside the country.

'The idea is not bad. But I don't know if it works. Manchester United and Arsenal have a lot of fans but how do they get to Sydney?

'It's a good idea to export your football but practically I don't know.'

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore still wants to meet Blatter to explain the proposals in person and a visit to FIFA headquarters in Zurich could take place next week.

Before that however, the FA board will meet on Thursday to decide on their policy towards the proposal. Last week, the FA released a statement expressing 'serious reservations'.

Meanwhile, Beckenbauer said imposing quotas of foreign players could be a solution to some of the problems facing football.

He said: 'England is suffering because of the situation, (in) Germany it is the same. In all the major leagues in Europe they have the same problem and the youngsters have problems getting through because most of the teams prefer to buy foreigners.

'It's cheaper and probably easier and then they are not patient enough to wait for a 16, 17, 18-year-old boy to get to the first team.'

Sepp Blatter and UEFA president Michel Platini are proposing a 'six-plus-five rule' with a minimum of six domestic players in a club side, though overcoming European legislation remains a very big hurdle.

Beckenbauer added: 'It could be a good solution. It is very controversial. You can say we are living in a global world and the markets are open, and football tries to go back to the old status to reduce, to have a six-plus-five regulation instead of opening the market.

'That is one side, the other side is to save the whole market.'