World Football: 6+5=Mediocre Football

illya mclellan@illya mclellan @illbehaviorNZSenior Analyst IJune 2, 2008

The vote has gone through the FIFA congress—the vote for mediocre football played by understrength teams.

This system may make sense to some people, but at the end of the day teams are going to end up on occasion having to leave more accomplished and gifted players on the bench because they have to.

This will undermine morale, fan support and generally ruin the spectacle. Apparently Sepp Blatter has the interests of the development of the game at heart. I think, however, he is actually a power-crazed lunatic who wants to restore the power of FIFA at the expense of club football.

In the last 10 years, it has become apparent that the European sporting public (even the world sporting public maybe) cares less for the FIFA World Cup and more for the UEFA Champions League.

Blatter and Platini seem to be scared they are in danger of slipping into second place. With this ruling, it seems they will get the chance of putting the powerful club sides of Europe back in their "place." 

The problem for these guys is, globalisation of culture has meant that even though national identity is still strong throughout the world, more and more people would actually prefer to watch a high stakes club game than a mismatched World Cup qualifier.

This so-called attempt at restoring the strength of the national sides is nothing more than an attempt by FIFA to restore some of the prestige their organisation once had.

I think rather than detracting from the game as they would have us believe, foreign players add to the game in the country they play in just because they are good players in a locale.

The example of England as an under-performing national side drained by too many foreigners in the EPL is flawed, because France and Italy have both won recent world cups and the leagues in these countries have had large numbers of foreigners playing for years. England just need to sort their team out and stop making excuses.

FIFA, for some reason, think suddenly the game will undergo a transformation in which the World Cup is as important as it once was because of this. Obviously, it is all driven by the lack of money in the international game now.

The following excerpt is from regarding the law change:


Background of 6+5

- The foundations of football are harmony and balance between national team football and club football,
- The clubs' loss of national identity is endangering the former and has led to increasing inequality among the latter, thereby widening the financial and sporting gap between the two, reducing the competitiveness of club competitions and increasing the predictability of their results,
- Safeguarding (i) the education and training of young players, (ii) training clubs, and (iii) the values of effort and motivation in football, particularly for young players, is a fundamental element of protecting national teams and restoring sporting and financial balance to club football,
- The universal development of football over the last century would not continue if there were increasing inequalities between continents, countries and protagonists in football.


It's complete bollocks.

Teams when adhering to this rule will end up on occasion having to search for talent in places where it simply does not exist.

Sides that are lucky enough to have a group of 'natives' who play in the first team and are world-class players are going to find now that it is even easier for them to win (Manchester United, Chelsea).

Teams that in some cases have to rely on foreign talent to keep up will be penalised because they cannot field players week in week out who might have challenged these sides for a smaller salary than the 'natives' would expect in their home country.

Regardless of what they do football will continue to develop, because people love football. There is no need for FIFA to start messing around with the game in such a way.

The whole thing seems rather to be a desperate attempt at ankle-tapping the club sides who enjoy more prestige than most national sides. The most ridiculous thing of all is that the less-than-elite clubs that suffer. The elite clubs will just buy up the localised talent in such away that the leagues are even more mismatched than they are now. 

I suppose we have to see how it pans out in the next few months and years. Hopefully, it does not end up being as stupid as it sounds.