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By Simon Evans

NASSAU (Reuters) - FIFA president Sepp Blatter faces a tricky tactical decision over whether to push forward with his radical plan to restrict club teams to five foreign players.

Blatter has to deal with resistance from European federations concerned about the legality of the plan in European labour law.

The "six plus five" proposal is on the agenda for Wednesday's congress in the Bahamas although a FIFA spokesman said it was not clear whether any vote would be held on a timetable for the plan.

UEFA president Michel Platini said it would be impossible to support a timetable at this stage.

"If there is a vote on the calendar then we abstain. To have a calendar we need to know if it is legal or illegal," he told reporters Monday.

"It is not about FIFA or about football at all. It is about European Union law," he added, stressing that he backed the principle behind the proposal.

European federations met Monday and said they would not back the plan, Belgian Football Association president Francois De Keersmaeker told reporters.

"If there is a vote then the European countries will abstain," De Keersmaeker said. "There is support for the idea but it is not legal and we need to work with the European Commission and the EU to find a solution," he said.

The plan would have a dramatic impact on the top leagues in Europe, such as England's Premier League and Germany's Bundesliga, where there are record numbers of foreign players.

Chelsea's starting line-up in their FA Cup final victory over Everton Saturday featured just three English players.

Last year's FIFA Congress in Sydney voted 155-5 in favour of Blatter pursuing the plan, with 40 abstentions.

With Europeans unwilling to move forward at this stage, Blatter must decide whether to risk a division with UEFA over the issue.

However, Blatter and Platini are allies and it is unlikely the FIFA chief would want a conflict with the Frenchman who is also a member of his own executive.

Blatter's original idea was for a switch to a maximum of seven foreigners in 2010, six in 2011 and then finally at five in 2012 but it is hard to see how such a timetable could be implemented at the moment.

discuss.

i personally think english football would be hit hardest if something like this were to happen.

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There is no way that this rule will be passed through. I just can't see how they will get around European law. However the premier league have confirmed they will be implimenting a "homegrown" rule from the 2010/2011 season similar to the one adopted in the Champions League and in the football leagues....

You can see the logic behind the ideas, but in practicality having limits on the number of foreign players will not work.

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yea i see what you mean, it wouldnt be a problem for us (juventus) but for a team like inter haha they would have major problems, as well as a lot of epl teams.

maybe a rule that isnt as severe, maybe allow a few more foreigners that the 5-6 initially stated.

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yea i see what you mean, it wouldnt be a problem for us (juventus) but for a team like inter haha they would have major problems, as well as a lot of epl teams.

maybe a rule that isnt as severe, maybe allow a few more foreigners that the 5-6 initially stated.

It wouldn't happen that way because you are not allowed to exclude someone from working because of their nationality. The only way around it is the Homegrown rule, where you have to have a certain number of homegrown players in your squad. Homegrown doesn't mean English however and can be foreign so there is no problem. The idea is that it will encourage more players from that nationality as the majority of players at an academy between 16 and 21 are likely to be (in our case) English.

From a Chelsea point of view it means bringing though English youngsters (Mancienne, Cork, Bertrand ect...) but also it will include foreign players who have been with us for a certain period (Stoch, Kakuta ect....).

The premier league have not yet confirmed how the premier league will impliment this, as unlike the CL there is not limit on squad size. But i would think something like 5 out of the matchday squad of 18 is pretty likely.

At the moment in the UEFA ruling we are short on the "club trained" quota which means we have a smaller CL squad, but we are certainly addressing that problem.

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At the moment in the UEFA ruling we are short on the "club trained" quota which means we have a smaller CL squad, but we are certainly addressing that problem.

Lets through stoch and kakuta in then. By the way esk how is kakuta's injury going any news ?

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Lets through stoch and kakuta in then. By the way esk how is kakuta's injury going any news ?

Stoch wasn't eligable this season, i think he will be next season though. Kakuta won't be eligable next season either. Kakuta's injury is recovering well. Has started doing light ball work i believe and will certainly be ready for the start of the season.

The Homegrown rule (as being adopted by the football league) will really encourage youth development. To have 4 or 5 players in your matchday squad who are homegrown you will need to have almost double that in your overal squad to compensate for injuries.

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The fact that the EPL has so much success in foreign born people shows TO ME that it is an International League that EVERYONE wants to play in hence the value of the top teams sky-rocketing the last decade.

Here in the States, there seems to be a similar topic about whether baseball is becoming too foreign or whether foreign players are taking over the NBA lately, etc....and yet, when fans of a team get an international player that WINS GAMES for them....what are the fans doing? Rooting hard for the player no matter where he is from.

I want to win games. I don't care if our players are FROM Canada or Russia. Now, I would PREFER to have as many English born players as possible but if we don't AND we are winning, who the hell would be complaining?

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