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
Familiar Western foes face off once again    
[MLS PLAYOFF PREVIEW] Only once in the past five seasons has there been an MLS Cup ...
Wright-Phillips strikes twice to knock out defending champ    
[MLS PLAYOFFS] Both of the league's two scorers came through in their head-to-head playoff meeting Thursday ...
Savarese: Raul is still hungry to achieve things    
[NASL] The New York Cosmos have signed Spanish superstar Raul. He signed a multi-year contract as ...
Complete MLS playoff schedule    
[DATEBOOK] The New York Red Bulls move into the semifinals of the Eastern Conference playoffs with ...
MLS and EPL matches draw top NBC audiences    
[SOCCER ON THE AIR] NBC set Premier League and MLS audience records for its coverage of ...
Concacaf Under-20 Championship draw    
[JAMAICA 2015] The U.S. men will kick off the 2015 Concacaf Under-20 Championship in Jamaica against ...
What They're Saying: Harry Redknapp    
"I've never read it. I don't know where you get it from. Every day someone has ...
A super solo effort from the West Bank    
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] We found one of the week's most spectacular goals in Palestine, where Merkaz ...
Messi, Neymar & Mascherano shine at soccer hoops     
[VIDEO PICK: Skills] Barcelona incorporated a basketball hoop into its training session and the trio of ...
LAFC investors jump on rocket ship    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] MLS introduced the owners of the new club that is scheduled to begin play ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives