EU court to examine homegrown player quotas after Antwerp complaint

October 19 – The European Court of Justice will examine UEFA and Belgium’s quota for homegrown players and its compliance with the freedom of labour and competition law following a lawsuit by Royal Antwerp.

Last year, the Belgian club questioned, in court, the Belgian FA’s quota for homegrown players in a club’s first-team squad and match-day team list. The quota requires Belgian clubs to have eight players developed at home in their squad, as well as at least six homegrown players in the starting lineup or on the substitutes bench.

The Belgian FA has applied the rule since 2011 and the Pro League said that abolishing the quota “is not on the agenda.”

“If the best players trained by our clubs are not given a chance to play in our league, it is unlikely that the future generation of Red Devils will be able to meet the public’s expectations,” said Pro League CEO Pierre François.

UEFA requires a club playing in their competitions to name eight homegrown players of any nationality in a 25-player squad. There are no quotas on match-day team selection. In 2008, the European Commission said the rules were compatible with the free movement of labour. However, a Belgian judge has now asked the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg to interpret whether the quota is compatible with articles 45 and 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

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