Clubs told to produce more of their own

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The Independent Football

Uefa launched proposals here yesterday designed to limit the number of foreign players in club football in a move that could have far-reaching effects on the game. Under the plans, squad sizes would be limited to 25 players of whom up to four would have to be products of a club's youth system and a further four trained in the same country.

The youth players can be of any nationality - something Uefa have had to agree on in order to comply with European Union labour laws and avoid a Bosman-style court case - but there would still be quotas on players from non-EU countries.

Uefa are aiming to have the new rules in place by the start of the 2006-7 season though there would be a transitional period to allow clubs to adapt their squads to comply with the regulations. Uefa vice-president Per Ravn Omdal said: "We foresee a system where it is required that a club has to have trained seven or eight players from the first-team squad itself, or some trained within the national association. A possible solution would be to have four trained by the club and four within the national association, or three and three, but we are not talking about nationality.

"We do believe that this would be positive for training, for competitive balance, and would reduce the importance of money in club football and create a larger pool of players for national teams. It would also be necessary to reduce the squad size - there's no point having a minimum of eight home-grown players in a squad of unlimited size. We foresee a limit of 25 players."The final proposals will be presented to Uefa's Congress next year for voting.

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