Triesman urges MPs to consider overseas player limits

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The chairman of the Football Association, Lord Triesman, raised the issue of limits on foreign players yesterday by saying it is imperative that the England manager, Fabio Capello, should be able to watch English players in Premier League matches.

Capello has pointed out that only 38 per cent of players in the top flight are eligible for the national team.

Triesman told the Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Committee: "It's absolutely the least that we should expect that, when someone who is the head England coach goes to a match, they should be in a position where they can see enough players who might be eligible to play for England. Then they can form a judgement about this pool of talent and give attention to the right people coming through. Otherwise I can't conceive how we are going to resume the position I believe that we should be in as one of the very leaders of world teams in football."

The big obstacle to foreign quotas is European Union law, but the game's world governing body, Fifa, and its European counterpart, Uefa, are keen on imposing limits. Triesman added: "There now needs to be a very, very careful analysis of what the legal requirements are about the employment of players, but also what may be the regulations about how many start in games, which may not be the same."