Furious backpedaling

Blatter Channels Someone With a Brain

Just about the moment the ink had dried on published reports that FIFA had passed the 6+5 rule the backpedaling began. First, it was revealed that that the FA, who had previously said they wouldn’t support the quotas rule, had actually voted for the rule. Or had they? It turns out that what FIFA really passed was just an agreement to look into the 6+5 rule because everyone knows that hard caps or quotas are against the law.

Well, everyone except Sepp Blatter.

Speaking about it is illegal? For whom? For when? If there is a law, a law can be amended. I have already a meeting planned with the speaker of the European Parliament on 5 June in Brussels, as he said, to explore now the ways [forward]

What he’s revealing here is that he knows it’s illegal but what he wants to do is change the EU labor law to exclude football and football players. That’s the only way his plan would be legal. What’s interesting is that the UEFA plan to force teams to have more “homegrown” players — the rule is currently that you must have at least two young men who came through your academy e.g. Fabregas — looks like it has legs. We’ll have to see.

For now, I think the whole affair is kind of comical. From the idea that Man U’s Champions League team fit the bill to the whole “we’re just examining this!!!” backpedaling, I can’t help but laugh. Just think about the idea that Man U fielded “6” Englishmen. Blatter has stated that Welsh, Scottish, and N. Irish players WOULDN’T count because they have their own leagues but a Canadian like Hargreaves counts because Canada doesn’t have a league? It’s just one of many many funny questions that need to be answered.

I love this article about how Man U’s 1994 Champions League final was ruined by the old quota system. Imagine if Cantona had not been suspended. I guess they would have had to put another second-string Englishman in. Even funnier, to me, is that there was a hard quota system in place and if you remember, England failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup. Clearly what they needed was more Englishmen in the top flight.

Robin van Persie is doing some backpedaling of his own. After he made a remark about how Arsenal need to open the coffers to keep their best players, it’s now been revealed that Mr. 55 (that’s how many games he’s started in 4 years at Arsenal) is renegotiating his contract. Now that it’s been revealed he’s in negotiations he says his remarks were “not about the money” he says, he just “wants to keep the team together.” Whatever Robin. I just hope Arsenal include an injury clause in any contact with him.

And finally, on the injury front, Eduardo’s leg that broke itself is healing itself extra fast and he might even be available for training in late July. Good for him, I’m sure Wenger will bring him along at exactly the right pace. No word on whether Martin Taylor has recovered from his horrific psychic injuries but I trust ESPN Soccernet is on the case, after all they broke the story that Taylor was backed to recover from the Eduardo Tackle.

That’s it for today… unless you want to know what kind of quota system is in place for Netball. Personally, I’m going to start checking passports at the local pickleball tournament. We can’t have any of those Norwegians taking over our beloved pickleball!