Straight from the dark heart of Italy
As knee-jerk reactions go after Italy’s dismal failure in South Africa this one is going to hurt Italian football.
the transfer market about to swing into full-on negotiating mode,
sporting directors from Turin to Palermo will have to rethink their
strategies after the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) sprung a new
law limiting the number of non European Union signings to one.
until Friday, clubs were gearing up to sign at least two players from
outside the EU – and with a number of players shining at the World Cup
there were pickings aplenty to be had.
FIGC president Giancarlo
Abete - who unsurprisingly survived the post-World Cup purge only
because there was no other viable candidate capable of stepping in -
dropped the bombshell which the federation hopes will force clubs to
promote local talent rather than look abroad.
Abete claimed that
the decision had nothing to do with what happened in South Africa but
the issue of whether to reduce the number of non-EU players from two to
one is brought up by the federation every year and then quietly dropped.
then that it should suddenly become a central totem of the game’s
governing body – and looks rather heavy-handed when you consider the
dearth of talent in Serie A at the moment.
What difference will
it make if there are one or two non-Europeans turning out for clubs in
the grand scheme of things and especially in a league that has
traditionally been a welcoming destination for players from all over
What the new ruling does is immediately cut a swathe through transfer options for a number of clubs.
for example, have been chasing Edin Dzeko and Milos Krasic but will
have to drop their quest for one of them; Inter can wave goodbye to
signing Brazilian midfielder Ramires as they have already taken up
their option on his compatriot Philippe Coutinho.
AS Roma have
already landed Adriano and the player set to cause commentators a
moment of hesitation, the Sri Lankan Panushanth Kulenthiran, but they
had their sights set on Argentina left-back Clemente Rodriguez – not
AC Milan have just released Nelson Dida so they can at
step up their chase for Keisuke Honda who impressed for Japan and CSKA
Moscow in the Champions League.
It is going to be tough though
for Lazio whose transfer team decamped to South Africa to hunt down new
talent while Udinese’s whole scouting system is built around unearthing
young gems from the four corners of the globe.
who made an impression over the last month will be heading to England,
Spain, Germany and France rather than to these shores.
certainly a basis for ensuring that young Italian players have an
opportunity to progress considering that the percentage of foreign
players has leapt from 29 to 47% over the last three years.
as with most things where the Italians get it wrong the Germans have
already got it right – and following the model of the Bundesliga where
a team can have as many foreigners as they wish but eight players must
have come through the youth ranks, makes sense.
This move, which
frankly has left the whole of Italian football floored, is so
short-sighted that it can only be seen as a step backwards for Serie A
in maintaining its position amongst the European elite.
More from Serie Aaaaargh!
The Italian FA should clone Pirlo, start with that.
Perhaps this is as much a knee jerk to the victory of Milan with such little Italian input as much as the World Cup. You are right that the Bundesliga approach of positively fostering talent rather than excluding overseas players is the best way forward. Chile's Sanchez was one of the stars of the tournament. Now his kind will more likely appear at Dortmund or Wigan than Udinese. A loss to the Italian game without doubt.
Juventus, for example, have been chasing Edin Dzeko and Milos Krasic but will have to drop their quest for one of them;
both european, so surely the ruling does not affect them?
yeh but are their countries outside the eu?
This statement is just, players must be homegrown. But when other leagues have different standards and regulations, how do you propose for Italian teams to protect themselves?
For years, English teams have been stealing the talent developed by Italian, Spanish and French teams. Until the major clubs can make a commitment to the future of Italian football, laws or no laws, we will see this continue to fester.
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