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Premiership backs 'home-player' rule

THE Premier League is considering adopting a "home-grown player rule" that sets a quota of locally trained players for its clubs in a bid to bolster England's national team.

In a document submitted to Britain's sports minister, the country's top clubs including Manchester United and Chelsea back the rule adopted by UEFA but rejects FIFA's so-called 6+5 rule with curbs based on nationality.

"Reflecting the need to encourage the development of local talent and to be confident that the future supply of England-qualified players is at least as good as at present, our clubs have already indicated in principle support for a home grown player quota to be applied to Premier League matches," the document said.

"FIFA's objectives ... are laudable but would contravene EU Freedom of Movement laws, inhibit development of young talent and be detrimental to the success of the Premier League and English football as a whole."

England's Football League, which governs the three divisions below the Premier League, has already introduced a rule next season whereby at least four of a team's 16-man match day squad must have been registered with an English club for a minimum of three years prior to their 21st birthday. The rule does not include a restriction on a player's nationality.

FIFA is still lobbying for support of its 6+5 rule in Europe despite the risk of legal action by the European Commission - the European Union executive - which says the rule contravenes its strict rules on the free movement of workers.

Brussels said it supports UEFA's home-grown player rule because it does not directly discriminate against a player on the grounds of nationality or passport.

The Premier League is also planning to tighten up its rules on transfers for players below the age of 18. UEFA wants a pan-European ban on transfers under the age of 18 to help bolster domestic leagues.


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