Sat, Nov 04, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Soccer bosses agree on new rights with players

AFP , BARCELONA, SPAIN

World soccer governing bosses and international players signed an historic agreement yesterday aimed at improving co-operation between the two parties.

FIFA and FIFPro, the international players' umbrella organization, have agreed to new rules regarding player rights.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who also alluded to Brazil's hopes of hosting the World Cup and his wish to see a balanced mix of home-grown and bought-in foreign players, signed the deal at Barcelona's Nou Camp stadium along with his FIFPro counterpart Philippe Piat.

The agreement will give players a spokesperson affiliated to FIFA whilst also improving the conditions of their playing contracts.

It also puts in place a stipulation that changes to the rules regarding transfers cannot be made without agreement from both parties, giving players more of a say in FIFA rulings.

Blatter also spoke about Brazil's hopes of staging the 2014 World Cup -- FIFA is due to make a decision in 2008.

The FIFA head said he had told the Brazilian Federation to prepare a campaign assuming that there would be "three or four more" candidates.

Brazil, five-times winners of the competition, have staged the event just once, in 1950.

Brazil has the support of the South American confederation CONMEBOL to bring the tournament back to South America for the first time since Argentina were hosts in 1978.

On the so-called six plus five ratio of national to foreign players Blatter backed the principle and pointed out that Sao Paulo won the last world championship "with ten Brazilian players and a Uruguayan."

"We should use the six plus five system," he added.

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