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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 December, 2004, 10:16 GMT
Uefa out to trim foreign imports
Uefa president Lennart Johansson and chief executive Lars-Christer Olsson
Uefa chiefs are keen to implement the new proposals
Uefa is to unveil proposals that will limit the number of foreigners in domestic football.

The controversial measures would see clubs limited to 25 players - of which four would have had to come up through their own ranks.

A further four players must be brought through inside the same national football association.

Europe's governing body proposes to gradually bring in the changes over the next four years.

Under the proposals Arsenal's 17-year-old Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas would not be regarded as having been trained by the Gunners because he has not been at the club for three full years.

European football's governing body has been considering the move for some months, but has now put together formal plans.

It makes no sense if you have 40 players in a squad
Lars-Christer Olsson, chief executive of Uefa
Under these proposals, set to be agreed by Uefa's executive committee in Nyon, there would be a transitional period starting next season building up to the full implementation of the rule in four years' time.

The final decision will have to be ratified by Uefa's Congress in Tallinn in April next year.

Lars-Christer Olsson, chief executive of Uefa, explained in November: "It is not so much the top clubs but it is those in the middle range who are are importing cheap players instead of developing them.

"In Austria for example, even in the semi-professional leagues they are importing players from Slovakia, Hungary and Nigeria.

"If we bring in a minimum quota of players trained in that country - but of any nationality - then we have to have a limit on the squad size too. It makes no sense if you have 40 players in a squad."

But many clubs have already expressed their opposition to both a limitation on squad size and the proposed regulations governing players.

Uefa's club competitions committee has already urged European football's leaders to be cautious.

Uefa believes the number of foreigners is having a detrimental impact on both the development of the game and on national teams.

Due to of European law they cannot bring in any regulations based strictly on nationality.

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.

  • Meanwhile, Uefa is to investigate whether video technology should be brought in to help match officials judge whether the ball has crossed the goal-line.

    The move follows a plea from Italian FA president Franco Carraro, who has urged European football's governing body to put pressure on Fifa to introduce such measures.

    Uefa chief executive Lars-Christer Olsson said: "There have been discussions several times in the past and we want to open a new investigation in terms of whether technology is applicable.

    "We must make sure that it helps rather than hinders any decision by the referee and that we do not have any breaks in the game.

    "We can only do this in conjunction with Fifa otherwise it won't work."

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