UEFA home-grown quotas seen breaking EU laws

STRASBOURG: A UEFA rule obliging clubs to include “home-grown” players in their squads will most likely fall foul of EU laws on discrimination, a report for the European Parliament concluded on Wednesday. 

The rule will affect Europe's top clubs from next season.  

Although the quotas refer to where a player has been trained rather than his nationality, the study argued they would indirectly discriminate against foreign nationals. 

“It is quite obvious that most of the home-grown players would be nationals of the specific state and not foreigners,” said the report. 

“The proposed rule would indirectly discriminate (against) foreigners, making it more difficult for foreign players to transfer to a country where they were not trained and educated.” 

It concluded the rule “will most likely not be able to be introduced under the current framework of EU law” and called for consultations across the sport to examine possible alternatives. 

One of the key aims of the EU's single market is to remove barriers to the free flow of labour and goods across borders. 

UEFA defines home-grown players as those trained by their clubs or by another club or national academy in the same country for at least three years between the ages of 15 and 21. 

A spokesman for UEFA said the organisation was studying Wednesday's report. – Reuters  

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