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European Commission Nixes Foreigner Quotas

  • BBC News, Wednesday, February 20, 2008 4:15 PM
FIFA President Sepp Blatter's foreigner restriction rule proposal, which would reduce the maximum number of foreigners in a club's starting lineup to five, was dealt a near death blow on Monday when the European Commission ruled that the change goes against European Union law. "The Commission is not considering any change to allow Fifa to push forward this idea. Fifa is aware of this fact," an EC spokesman said.
Nevertheless, the BBC says that Blatter intends to submit the idea to the FIFA Congress when it meets in Sydney on May 29-30. In a statement, FIFA said the President "will not tackle supranational organizations such as the EU but rather convince them of Fifa's approach." Blatter explained his proposal as follows: "Over the years and decades, by signing more and more foreign players, clubs have gradually lost their identity, first locally and regionally."
The EC spokesman, who has knowledge of the plans, replied that the FIFA President's idea is still "illegal" under EU law.

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