Previous
Iraq
United Arab Emirates
2
1
LIVE 45'
Game Details
VfL Wolfsburg
Bayern Munich
7:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Rayo Vallecano
Deportivo La Coruña
7:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Paris Saint-Germain
Stade Rennes
7:30 PM GMT
Game Details
AFC Bournemouth
Watford
7:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Tijuana
Morelia
3:30 AM GMT Jan 31, 2015
Game Details
Next

WhoScored: Pogba on track to world's best

Tactics And Analysis
Read
By ESPN Staff

FIFA boss Blatter: Football is at a crossroads

Sepp Blatter has launched a fresh diatribe against Premier League clubs' love of foreign players and warned that football is "at a crossroads".

The FIFA president claims his plans to introduce the '6+5' rule are gathering momentum and do not breach European law, and that action is needed to restore national identity to football.

Blatter, speaking after the International FA Board meeting in Belfast, said: "The four English teams in the Champions League this week had a total of nine English players - two in Liverpool, four in Chelsea, three in Manchester [United] and zero in Arsenal.

"Do you think that is the right thing? We are at a crossroads in FIFA.

"We have to intervene in football to make sure that club football is identified if not locally then nationally, that you have the majority of players from the same country in a team.

"If this is not possible we will have football on two levels, the rich and those who have nothing."

It is not just the Premier League clubs who are packed with foreign players - Liverpool had more Spaniards then Real Madrid while Inter Milan, Manchester United's opponents, also had only three Italians involved.

Blatter said the top leagues had a responsibility to the rest of football.

He added: "The Premier League is not a monster, but you can imagine the impact of the English league. It's good because they just confirmed the new television contract over the next three years despite the economic crisis.

"In France they have an expression 'l'appetit vient en mangeant'. It means when you are at a good table you like to eat more and more and more. And this is the success story of the Premier League, but they should also look on the others.

"They can have 30 players on contracts who could all play in other leagues or even in the same league in other clubs, but they keep the best because they have the money."

Blatter's idea is that there would first be a maximum of seven foreigners in a starting line-up, and then be reduced to five.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.