Platini says will not fight for foreign player quotas
UEFA president Michel Platini further distanced himself on Friday from FIFA president Sepp Blatter's controversial plans to limit the number of foreign players in club football.
Platini has repeatedly praised the principle behind Blatter's proposal to restrict teams to just five foreign nationals on the pitch but has expressed doubt as to its compatibility with EU laws on the free movement of workers.
On Friday he went further, insisting that he would not fight for the idea.
"I have said to the president of FIFA that I will defend his idea as a friend, but as the president of UEFA I am not going to fight for it," Platini told a news conference after a UEFA executive committee meeting.
"It is difficult for me and I have the backing of all the UEFA associations, who are saying they do not want to introduce something that is impossible. The philosophy behind it is a good one but I am not going to burn my fingers in Brussels.
"It is still possible that we can achieve much of the same aims through other means such as bans on the transfer of minors or other types of agreements between the clubs themselves.".
Blatter said earlier this month that he would present his "6 plus 5" proposal to FIFA's next Congress when it meets in Sydney in May but Platini said he did not anticipate confrontation between the European and world governing bodies.
"I think Mr Blatter will ask Congress for the possibility to continue working towards his goal," Platini said. "He is not going to ask for a vote on the issue flat out.
"I do not believe he is stupid or idiotic enough to ask for a vote that could bring one of FIFA's major confederations into difficulties.".
Platini and Blatter are long-time allies, having each assisted the other in the campaigns for their respective presidencies.
Both have argued that the growing number of foreign players in leagues such as the English Premier League is damaging the prospects of domestic players but they disagree on the best solution.
UEFA has put forward a rival proposal that would provide exemption for foreign players who have received the majority of their training in the country where they want to play.
The European Commission is studying UEFA's "homegrown players" proposal and is expected to give an opinion by the end of April. .