ECA Chair Accuses FIFA Pres. Candidates of Neglecting Clubs

May 25, 2011

Chairman of the European Clubs Association (ECA) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has accused FIFA of neglecting clubs’ needs while presidential incumbent Sepp Blatter attempts to fight off the challenge of Mohamed Bin Hammam.

The two presidential candidates have been promising to “do everything” for the national federations who have votes in Congress but Rummenigge, also chief executive of Bayern Munich, said: “We have no democracy in FIFA. It is doing nothing in favour of the clubs. It’s clear that they are doing everything in favour of the FAs to convince them to go ahead with Blatter or whatever.”

Rummenigge was dismissive of FIFA attempts to introduce a nine-plus-nine player quota rule restricting foreign players in top-tier matches worldwide. This has replaced the original, doomed six-plus-five idea which contravened European Union labour laws.

Rummenigge added: “The ECA has explicitly rejected it. I am convinced FIFA and UEFA have not thought this through in detail.” The world’s clubs, despite their power and wealth particularly in Europe, have no direct representative presence on FIFA’s governing executive committee.