Player quotas in elite club football
Taylor & Francis
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FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s recent attempt to resurrect the 6 + 5 quota for club football which limits the number of home-grown players to six is a protectionist measure at odds with global trends in free trade and freedom of movement. We remain unconvinced that his goals—to arrest the decline in the competitive quality and balance of international football, ensure greater investment in developing native talent and safeguarding national identity—are a problem or served well by such a regulation. We show that the impact of foreign players on national teams is mixed and restrictions are as likely to undermine the quality of national teams as much as they will improve them. Our moral case will show he is wrong to assert that elite club football’s prime agenda ought to be a nationalist one. We conclude that the primary threat to the integrity, competitive balance and cultural significance of football is not labour migration but misplaced financial imperatives that have an overriding impact on shaping football’s mode of production. The root cause for perverse labour practices, which may have a knock-on effect on the quality of some international teams, is due to the scale and uneven distribution of money. It is here, particularly with respect to the power of European ‘super-clubs’ that reform is needed most.
Sport, Ethics, Philosophy;
Hardman, A. & Iorwerth, H. (2014) 'Player quotas in elite club football', Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, 8 (2), pp. 147-156
Article published in Sport, Ethics and Philosophy available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17511321.2014.931879
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
- Sport Research Groups 
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