UEFA Propose Import Limit
UEFA PROPOSE IMPORTS LIMIT
UEFA have launched far-reaching and controversial proposals designed to limit the number of foreign players, clubs are permitted to field.
Under the plans, first-team squad sizes would be limited to 25 players of which up to four would have to be products of a club's youth system and a further four trained in the same country. [martins, eliakwu, ...]
Of the 32 sides in last season's Champions League, five clubs would have not had enough home-grown players: Arsenal, Chelsea, Celtic, Rangers and Ajax.
The proposals are sure to be opposed by many of the top clubs who prefer big squads - for example, Chelsea had more than 40 players in their first-team squad last season. [holly shiit]
There is, however, growing concern that the large number of foreigners in some leagues - there are moves currently afoot in Italy to challenge EU law and insist on a minimum of six Italian players in every team - is affecting those countries' competitiveness in international football.
The plans do allow for the minimum eight youth players to be of any nationality - something they have had to agree on in order to comply with EU laws and avoid a Bosman-style court case - but there could still be quotas on players from non-EU countries.
UEFA are aiming to bring in the new rules by the start of the 2006/7 season [hopefully, biava, beati, eliakwu, d.marino are ready by then] though there would be a transitional period to allow clubs to adapt their squads to comply with the regulations.
UEFA vice-president Per Ravn Omdal launched the proposals at a conference of national association leaders in Lisbon.
Omdal, who is expecting opposition from the leading clubs, said: "A possible solution would be to have four trained by the club and four within the national association, or three and three, but we are not talking about nationality.
"We do believe that this would be positive for training, for competitive balance, would reduce the importance of money in club football and create a larger pool of players for national teams.
"We believe that if we introduce a rule of home-grown players it would also be necessary to reduce the squad size - there's no point having a minimum of eight home-grown players in a squad of 40. We foresee a limit of 25 players, the same as in UEFA's Champions League.
"I would expect that some people might oppose this for individual selfish reasons but I think it is our task to try to create more equality."
Scotland's FIFA vice-president David Will welcomed the proposals, which will be presented to UEFA's Congress in Estonia next year for a final decision.
He told the Press Association: "It seems to be an absolute necessity. In English clubs players are not being allowed to come through, it's as simple as that, and the same in Scotland. In the two big Glasgow clubs there's often not a Scotsman in the 22.
"They are all taking the easy route, the quick-fix solution. If a club's left-back breaks his leg they go abroad and hunt around for a replacement instead of bringing up a player from the reserves or youth team.
"It can't be based on nationality but in the natural way of things most of the home-grown players will be from that country. It's not the absolute answer but it is a start.
"In Euro 2004 all the countries who have their major club teams importing players have not done so well and all those exporting players have done well."
Football Association chief executive David Davies said a rigorous debate was needed on the subject.
Davies told the Press Association: "It's the big issue of this generation, it is being brought to a head and rightly so.
"What has been proposed is deliberately to provoke debate and it will certainly do that. I don't want to pre-judge the outcome, I want to reflect on it further."
** and this one from another article of the same topic (but I edited the parts which has been repeated )
In Germany, for example, two-thirds of the strikers are foreigners and the national team was eliminated in the first round, basically because its strikers could not score . UEFA sees a correlation between the two.
English players are a rarity at top Premier League clubs such as Arsenal and Chelsea. Even Manchester United, with a solid youth system, cannot provide enough talent for the national team, which is without a major trophy since 1966.
Any limit on foreigners could come at the expense of Africa, a major provider of talent.
The current situation "is very good for Africa because Europe has the facilities, the experience and the African players can get a good background and playing experience," said African confederation president Issa Hayatou.
Instead of a foreign limit, why don't they just make it compulsory for an Italian team to have at lease 2 or 3 Italians on their starting line-up!?!?!? That makes more sense IMO.