I don’t like FIFA for a number of reasons, most of which will become evident throughout the season.
I don’t like Sepp Blater for a number of reasons, including but not exclusive to the fact that he is the head of FIFA.
However, I must stand up and applaud them for the stance they have taken against Chelsea and FC Sion (it’s not just Chelsea being victimised). If Chelsea are found guilty of tapping up a sixteen year old and inducing him to break his contract is simply awful. They would be using their influence to make an impressionable young man do something he is now going to regret for the rest of his life.
Michel Plantini has been on the war path about ‘big’ clubs signing young players, some as young as twelve. I agree with him to a certain extent but I do recognise that those skilled people who are developing in their education (both football and traditional) need the best teaching. If Arsenal, for example, can give a promising player better facilities, support and coaching than Crystal Palace, for example, isn’t the child allowed to study with Arsenal if he and his parents choose?
I agree far more strongly with Plantini in that young players should not be allowed to move to a different country until they are at least eighteen. Although Fabregas moved to Arsenal when he was sixteen (or maybe younger) he is success story. How many players come over and fail?
FIFA have done the right thing in banning Chelsea from registering any new players for two transfer windows. If their action deters ‘big’ clubs from trying to sign gifted young players on the cheap then that can only be good for smaller football clubs. Ironically if Chelsea had have negotiated with Lens then I’m sure an agreement could have been made for the player to learn at Chelsea and play for a period with Lens as part of his education, helping both clubs.