FFA Cup: Hume call for superstar exemption

Hume City are in a race against the clock to sign an international superstar for their FFA Cup semi-final clash against Melbourne Victory next week.

The Victorian NPL outfit had targeted French international David Trezeguet, Current Turkish International and Barcelona player in waiting Arda Turan, Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho and Greek legend Giorgios Karagounis.

But their plans hinge on the FFA exempting the club from Football Victoria registration rules which only allow two visa spots. Hume’s A-League opponents, Victory, have five imports on their roster.

Goalkeeper Chris Oldfield’s Australian residency is being fast-tracked but coach Lou Acevski was doubtful the paperwork would be completed in time.

“I don’t believe his documents will come through for next Wednesday,” Acevski said.

“But if we do take the path of bringing in a marquee player we’ll be asking for an exemption from the FFA to be able to play three visa players just for that game.

“I don’t believe that should be a problem as A-League clubs have five or six visa spots in their squad and we are only allowed two.

An FFA spokesperson told FourFourTwo they would look into Hume City's application once the club followed Victoria’s player registration procedure.

“We will look into it when and if we receive one,” the spokesperson said.

“Hume City must first register any new player through Football Victoria and satisfy their registration rules.”

Acevski was still hopeful the FFA would grant their application.

“If it’s a big enough player or good enough player to make a difference for Australian football and bring the public out to watch the game I think common sense will prevail and the FFA will support our application,” he said.

Out of the four players originally targeted by Hume only World Cup winner Trezeguet, and winner of Euro 2004 Karagounis remain a possibility. Both Turan and two time FIFA World Player of the year Ronaldinho appear to have priced themselves out of the running.

Karagounis, 38 last played competitively for Fulham in the English Premier League on April 19 last year and the 139 capped Greek International was recently sacked from his position as director of Greece’s national team after the country failed to qualify for the 2016 European Championships.

Meanwhile Trezequet, 38, last competitive game was in the Indian Super League for Pune City FC on December 9 last year.

Acevski said a decision was pending.

“We still haven’t confirmed which way we’ll go, or if we’ll go with any of those two players, but we still are in negotiations with those two,” he said.

“We’ll have a decisions in the next 24 to 48 hours.”

Acevski said the club was looking for a drawcard marquee who will add value to the squad: “Will they bring more people to the game? Will a big name attract more marketing opportunities and more sponsorship deals?

“(And) what will they bring to our team? Will they bring something better than what we’ve got? And obviously these world class players will always bring depth and bring a lot of quality to any team in the world not just our team.

“I’ll definitely look at every option possible and see which way is the best way to go about it.”

Hume City take on Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on October 28.

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Con Stamocostas is an Australian football writer. Click here to see more of his work and check out the latest episode of his A-League Snobcast with co-host Rob Toddler.