EU tells clubs foreign-player restriction is illegal

THE European Union's top sports official reiterated to a gathering of football clubs yesterday that a Fifa proposal to restrict their selection of foreign players was illegal.

THE European Union's top sports official reiterated to a gathering of football clubs yesterday that a Fifa proposal to restrict their selection of foreign players was illegal.

Jan Figel, the European commissioner responsible for sport, reassured members of the European Club Association that the so-called "6+5" rule favoured by football's global governing body could not be imposed on them. It would limit clubs to start matches with a maximum of five foreign players in the line-up.

"Six-plus-five as it stands now is not compatible with the EU laws," Figel said after his speech to officials from more than 100 clubs, including Barcelona, Manchester United and Real Madrid. "No one now says that they are in favour of 6+5," said Inter Milan general manager Ernesto Paolillo. - Sapa-AP

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