We saw last week how the government had manipulated the situation to ensure that Arsenal’s bid for a UEFA cup final at the Emirates would fail – and then changed the rules again so that Wembley’s bid would succeed.
Now they’ve gone much further.
A bunch of MPs that make up the culture, media and sport select committee yesterday told the European Commission that its white paper on sport was unacceptable. They said that national governing bodies (meaning the FA) must be ableto decide how their sports should be run.
Decoded this means, if the FA wants quotas restricting overseas players, they should be able to have them, irrespective of whether this breaks lots of European laws.
The EPL remains against quots, but the FA, with its warped view that quotas will help England actually get into a final of some international tourney or other is against the EPL.
Any such reversal of the law will affect Arsenal, which is built on the famous World-Wide Scouting model invented by Arsene Wenger, through which the club attracts the very best players from across the world. FIFA are also trying to undermine Arsenal’s approach which values quality irrespective of race, colour or accident of where your grandmother was born, but their approach is different from the new FA/government stance.
FIFA’s argument would make players registered to play for Wales count as “foreign” in England – and vice versa – which would make life difficult for Cardiff and Swansea, whose sides are usually packed with Englishmen. The FA however are trying to introduce a rule that treats the whole of the UK as one – while separately keeping the two individual countries, the principality and the province, as separate footballing “nations”.
If the FA and FIFA get their way, football (especially the EPL) will decline as clubs are forced to bring in second-rate English players to replace the top players from around the world that we currently see at Arsenal.
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