x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Eligibility rules 'not discussed'

Dr Tariq al Tayer expresses disappointment with the Football Association's decision on eligibility rules.

Ahmed Rizvi

Dr Tariq al Tayer, the chairman of the Football League, expressed disappointment with the Football Association's decision to seek a relaxation in eligibility rules for foreign-born players at the Fifa Congress earlier this month without first discussing it with the league.

The FA proposed that players 18 or older should be allowed to switch countries after three years residence instead of the current five. The proposal also asked that players under the age of 18 be allowed to adopt a country's national team after living there for five years. The proposal received only 42 votes in favour, while 153 countries opposed it and 11 abstained.

"I am extremely disappointed," al Tayer said. "First of all, we were not aware of this and then I think it was rushed. I think the FA did not lobby for it. Once we put a proposal, we should make sure that it will pass.

"Honestly we, the clubs, never discussed it. We had no idea ... There has to be a criteria for it. You cannot say we will have three years and then you want to change the age at the same time."

arizvi@thenational.ae