Football: Uefa launches attack on EU

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The Independent Online

Uefa has launched its strongest attack yet on the European Union's attempt to sweep aside football's transfer and nationality regulations.

National federations continue to debate whether to accept the so-called Bosman ruling, or stand behind Europe's football officials. But the Uefa general secretary, Gerhard Aigner, accused the EU of intransigence and a lack of sensitivity and knowledge of the subject.

He warned that the EU court's insistence that the transfer system and nationality restrictions should be scrapped could destroy the structures of the game in the long term.

"Is it really necessary to take such aggressive action?" Aigner asked in the latest issue of the Uefa Flash newsletter. " didn't introduce requirements in contravention of EU law."

He said it was "legitimate for football's bodies to defend themselves against measures which they are convinced will have a generally negative influence on the development of the sport and are likely to destroy the structures of national football in the long term.

"The very aggressive comments made by representatives of the European Commission some time before the Bosman case showed their fundamentally negative attitude towards football's authorities," Aigner added.