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Thursday, December 08, 2005

FA Furious Over Player Restrictions

Not enough is being made of this, but players who have been called up for their World Cup soccer squads are not allowed - by FIFA ruling - to play for their club sides after May 15. Unless - and this is really galling - they are playing in the UEFA Champions League Final, which is set for May 17th.

This means that World Cup squad players in the English Championship and lower divisions will be ineligible for the play-offs should their teams get that far. Consequently, some of the better Championship teams will be without experienced, talented players for what could mean the difference between financial security and bankruptcy. And that's just in England...God only knows what this ruling might mean to players in other countries.

I am, of course, all in favour of seeing some World Cup football played by players who aren't completely exhausted from a long club season. The last World Cup was spoilt by tired and semi-injured players not living up to their abilities. Nevertheless, this kind of ruling simply encourages the increasingly fractious club v country row.

FIFA really do need to think these things through before acting. Yeah, I know...but stranger things have happened..honest !

posted by mark_s at 4:36 PM


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