Following the meeting of the European sports ministers that took place in Biarritz, France on Thursday 27 and Friday 28 November, to which the Olympic and sporting movement was also invited, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter said: "I am satisfied with the coming together of viewpoints and the strong support for the notions of specificity, autonomy and self-regulation of sport that was demonstrated by the 27 European ministers during the meeting in Biarritz. The unanimous support of the ministers and their desire for dialogue point towards a bright future for the Olympic and sporting movement."
The unity and desire for structured dialogue with the European authorities shown by the Olympic and sporting movement, led by Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee, who made an impressive speech at the meeting, coupled with the backing given among others by the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations, the International Ice Hockey Federation, the International Basketball Federation, the International Rugby Board and UEFA, give cause for great satisfaction at the progress of the discussions.
A private meeting between the FIFA President and the European Commissioner Jan Figel allowed both parties to allay certain doubts regarding the application of the specificity and autonomy of sport.
Blatter is equally delighted by the unanimous agreement voiced by the 27 European sports ministers on the need for dialogue and discussion of the "6+5" rule while respecting its compatibility with EU law.
The 27 European sports ministers issued the following joint statement with regard to the "6+5" rule: "... the ministers express their interest in and want to encourage further discussions on the initiatives of international federations to encourage the teams of professional clubs in each country to develop the presence of athletes capable of qualifying for national teams, in compliance with EU law, to strengthen the regional and national rules of professional clubs."
The FIFA President also spoke about the measures being taken by FIFA to protect minors and training clubs. These met with the appreciation of the European ministers.