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Page last updated at 18:19 GMT, Thursday, 20 March 2008

Defoe 'ineligible' to face Spurs

Jermain Defoe
Defoe had been expected to receive a warm welcome at Tottenham

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp must do without Jermain Defoe at Tottenham on Saturday after the Premier League ruled the striker was ineligible to play.

The 25-year-old moved from Spurs in the transfer window but the deal was rushed through as a loan before he signed on a permanent transfer early in February.

And a Premier League spokesman said: "The rules are clear.

"A player taken on loan, even if that deal is made permanent, may not play against the team that loaned him."

Although the vote was unanimous, a Portsmouth spokesman said: "Clearly we are not happy about the situation.

It's a load of nonsense really, it's some silly rule and there's nothing we can do about it

Harry Redknapp

"Jermain was only signed on a loan deal due to time restraints on transfer deadline day and the deal was made permanent soon after.

"Spurs themselves were under the impression he was playing and clearly the rule needs to be looked at again as we will not be the only club to be affected by this.

"We have tried to get the ruling overturned and have lots of support from the other Premier League clubs but nothing can be done until the next shareholders' meeting in April."

Pompey boss Harry Redknapp added: "It's a load of nonsense really, it's some silly rule and there's nothing we can do about it."

The rules were changed at the Premier League AGM last summer following the situation that arose last season when Tim Howard made his loan from Manchester United to Everton a permanent deal.


The goalkeeper was a regular for Everton but did not play against United in April due to a gentleman's agreement.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men ended up claiming maximum points after a mistake from reserve stopper Iain Turner.

It led to a vote to change the rules for the purposes of clarity.

see also
Portsmouth trio given England nod
20 Mar 08 |  Portsmouth
Defoe deal permanent, say Pompey
05 Feb 08 |  Portsmouth
Redknapp delight at Defoe capture
01 Feb 08 |  Portsmouth
Defoe told he can leave Tottenham
08 Jan 08 |  Tottenham Hotspur

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