Football: Foreigners under threat from Spanish players

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The Independent Online
Spanish players will decide today whether to take action to reduce the number of foreigners allowed in club sides.

The players' union meets in the wake of the Bosman decision which banned quotas affecting European Union citizens and the introduction of league rules raising from three to four the number of non-EU men who can play for a team at one time.

Legislation allowing Latin Americans to acquire Spanish nationality after two years' residence further reduces the opportunities available to home-grown talent. In many games there have been fewer Spanish-born than foreign players on the pitch.

Gerardo Movilla, of the Spanish footballers' association, who is the man behind the move to take action, is also concerned that the national side will suffer as a result of what the country's press calls "the foreign invasion". Movilla hopes to gain support from the players to take the proposals to the Spanish federation but he is wary of talking about strike action.

There is no doubt that many people in the Spanish game see a strike as a possibility after the players successfully used the threat of a Christmas boycott to introduce a new year break into the league calendar.

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