Ministers lobby EC on the ’6+5’ rule .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} BIARRITZ - The European Union's 27 sport ministers signed a joint declaration on Friday calling on the European Commission to study the compatibility of the controversial '6+5' proposal with European law.

According to French sports minister Bernard Laporte, the ministers have requested the EU "studies the compatibility of a minimum requirement to field players eligible for the national team with European law".

The '6+5' rule, which has the support of FIFA chief Sepp Blatter, would force European club teams to name a minimum of six home-grown players in their starting XIs. Despite Blatter's backing, the rule would appear to contravene European employment law regarding the free movement of workers.

The sport ministers also reached an agreement to create a consultancy framework related to sporting activity within the EU and a plan for sport training programs incorporating both sporting and educational elements.

"I was anxious about whether or not we would be able to present a united front on certain subjects," said Laporte after the meeting. "But I was delighted by the unanimous way in which my colleagues approved our stance on such important projects."

Other topics discussed included an increase in the regulation of club finances and a ban on the transfer of players aged 18 or under proposed by UEFA head Michel Platini. Platini has been at odds with English clubs since proposing to take away one automatic qualification place for the Champions League, and has previously criticized the levels of money flowing through the English game. hurriyet