The Refaelov ruling: a law which could change football
The European Court of Justice is being pressured to decide whether UEFA's ruling on the required number of homegrown players is legal or not.
A judge in Belgium has requested that European Union's Court of Justice in Luxembourg examines whether UEFA's law concerning the minimum number of homegrown players required at European clubs is legal and whether it complies with laws regarding EU rights on freedom of movement for workers and their families.
According to the Associated Press, the decision to refer the case to the CJEU was made on Friday by a judge in the French-speaking tribunal of first instance in Brussels. The rule, which was imposed by UEFA in 2005, was recently questioned in Belgium where it is considered a restriction for clubs when recruiting players and selecting a team.
The process began last year with Royal Antwerp and an Israel international who at the time was on their books, Lior Refaelov. The club challenged the Belgian Football Association for applying a quota of a minimum of eight players who were developed within a club's youth system in a 25-man squad plus a minimum of six such homegrown players must be in the starting Xi or in the substitutes on any given matchday.
It is the second legal case to go to the CJEU, following the recent dispute between the clubs who planned to start a European Super League and UEFA.