Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-03-28-Speech-3-245"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to thank Mr Catania for his report and Mr Belet for the work he has accomplished, which I find balanced even though I too share the view that more could have been done. Football has now taken on a significant major role, and in view of the new challenges that are arising we can no longer imagine that it can be controlled solely through the football bodies. Thus there is a need, which has been accepted by the European Parliament, to take action to ensure more balanced growth in the football sector, seeking to respond to the changes taking place with an up-to-date approach. Moreover, as has been said, the ever-growing importance of European football involves, as we can see, consequences of considerable significance in all sectors. We need only think of sponsorship and the value of television rights, marketing and the increasing number of international competitions, which in turn have effects on various sectors, and the new social and cultural problems generated by them. Thus, I would say that this new, ever-growing social dimension of modern football encompasses public behaviour, morality, drug-taking, violence and racism, and even the exploitation of young players. There has been talk of the big teams but very often we miss the real scale of the problem by dwelling too much on the large clubs and not going beyond them, when in fact it is above all in the lower divisions that we need to take greater care than we have done up until now. It is therefore right to recommend that greater regulation be imposed on European football and that this should be connected with European law and the dynamics of the internal market. It is right to implement a more modern form of governance and to try to elevate the social and cultural influence of football in a positive way. The objective that we ought to set ourselves is not so much to invade UEFA’s sphere of responsibility and to replace it but to implement policies that contribute to better management of this sphere of activity. We need to be clear, though: the demands for independence emanating from the football bodies must not turn into the idea that each of them can do what it pleases, outside the scope of EU law. If we want, as is our duty, to combat the mistakes and the decline within the world of football, it is important to accomplish this task through collaboration between the political and parliamentary bodies and sporting bodies. Everyone needs to give of their best to achieve this objective."@en1

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