Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
WPS signings spark furor in France
by Paul Kennedy, March 25th, 2009 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[WPS] Both the Los Angeles Sol and Washington Freedom, who will play in Sunday's Women's Professional Soccer game, are awaiting clearances on their respective French signings, Camille Abily (Los Angeles) and Sonia Bompastor (Washington), whose move to the United States has touched off controversy at their French club Lyon, in part because their departure comes on the eve of the UEFA Women's Cup semifinals.

As MLS clubs have found, signing foreigner players is one thing and having them in uniform often be something else. The transfer of professionals require the release of an international transfer certificate (ITC) and those without U.S. citizenship or some form of residency status must obtain work visas -- a process that has slowed in recent years in the aftermath of 9/11.

"For players that teams were expecting to have on their rosters, everything has gone smoothly," WPS chief operating officer Mary Harvey said. "There have been a few hold ups for ITCs - not visas. Some ITCs have come in a little late because the teams only signed them at a later date. [The Sol's Chinese striker] Han Duan's ITC just went through, for example. There are a few last-minute issues. There's been a situation that we've gone to FIFA with regarding the French players, but we hope to get that resolved. We are working double time and I'm hoping everyone will be set to go on opening day."

The case of Abily and Bompastor revolves around Lyon's reluctance to part with them. The players have argued that they are amateurs -- Lyon has paid Aliby as a youth coach and Bompastor worked for OL Images, its TV arm -- and therefore they cannot be kept from leaving.

OL women's coach Farid Benstiti criticized their decision to leave.

"We'll have to cope with the departures of Camille Abily and Sonia Bompastor," he told uefa.com.  "They abandoned us. It's not a sporting disappointment, it's more from a human point of view. This is it. I won't say more. I just think that one must finish what we started. It's a life principle. Individual interest must not be the only thing."

(One of the two newcomers Lyon has brought in for its semifinal series against Germany's Duisburg, beginning Sunday, is former Ohio State star  Lara Dickenmann.)

Abily isn't the Freedom's only foreigner whose status remains up in the air.

Erin McLeod, the former SMU and Penn State goalie from Canada, is still working out her visa situation.

Australian Lisa DeVanna, considered one of the top young strikers in the world, has been training with the Freedom but has not yet signed a contract.


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Lopez hat trick completes story-book ending    
[USL PRO: Semifinals] Sacramento Republic FC's magical season continued as Rodrigo Lopez scored a hat trick ...
Soccer America Women's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Saturday] No. 10 North Carolina came back from two goals down to stun No. 12 ...
What They're Saying: Yaya Toure    
"I've been in Manchester for four years now and I have never demanded a birthday cake." ...
Minnesota downs Scorpions before record crowd    
[NASL: Fall Week 11] Minnesota United FC regained the lead in the NASL fall standings as ...
Wright-Phillips closes in on scoring record    
[MLS: Saturday] Bradley Wright-Phillips moved to within three goals of tying the MLS single-season scoring record ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Saturday] Senior Robert Kristo scored three minutes into overtime to propel No. 15 Saint Louis ...
Harrisburg pulls another upset on the road    
[USL PRO: Semifinals] No. 8 seed Harrisburg City Islanders, who had ousted regular-season champion Orlando City ...
Where to Watch European Soccer    
The new European club season has started up. Here are places Soccer America readers recommend where ...
This is how you score from 90 yards     
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] SC Paderborn 07, playing its first season ever in Bundesliga 1, finds itself ...
Quick Arsenal blitz drops Guzan's Aston Villa    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] The unbeaten start of Brad Guzan's Aston Villa to the English Premier League season ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives