- Associated Press - Thursday, November 20, 2014

ROME (AP) - Italian football leaders approved radical reforms on Thursday to give the national coach more options and promote homegrown players from next season.

The reforms include limiting Serie A sides to 25 players, four of whom must have grown up in Italy, and another four of whom must have come up through their youth systems.

The federation (FIGC) passed the reforms by a majority vote, despite the Italian Players’ Association and managers’ representatives voting against them.

According to a study published in the Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday, not one Serie A club currently conforms to the new regulations. Also, small clubs such as Chievo and Hellas Verona don’t have a single player who came up through their youth systems.

The rules governing non-EU players have also changed, as a young player must already be a resident in the country at his first registration, as well as having come to Italy with his parents for non-sporting reasons, and been in school for at least four years.



Serie A clubs are already restricted to two non-EU players but under the new rules, if a team wants to replace one of those, the player coming in must have already held a professional contract for at least three years.

Before the vote, the head of the Italian Players’ Association voiced his displeasure at the reforms, which will eliminate 80 players from Serie A by trimming the total number of footballers from 580 to 500 from next season.

“The rules approved today … are aimed at seeking financial sustainability of clubs with consequent investment in national academies,” the FIGC said.

The reforms were proposed by new FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio and formed the basis of his platform when running for election.

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