Serbia to impose foreign player limits

BELGRADE - Serbia will limit the number of foreign players at all levels from the 2010-2011 season to give more opportunities to home grown players. "The decision has been made to give home bred prospects a chance to show their skill and develop," Serbian Football Federation (FSS) President Tomislav Karadzic (pictured) told Reuters by telephone after the announcement was made on Wednesday. "We needed to pass this law to ensure that our talents start playing regular first-team football at a young age, as both their clubs and the national team will benefit." First division teams will be allowed to field a maximum of five foreigners as of the 2010-2011 championship and only four as of the following season. Second division clubs will be able to field a maximum of two foreigners as of the 2010-2011 season, while third division sides and those in the lower tiers will not be allowed any. Karadzic added: "Clubs can have as many foreigners as they want in their squads if they can afford it, but will be able to field a limited number on the pitch." Serbian clubs have been able to play with as many foreign players as they wanted but the new law is unlikely to affect too many of them, especially not the top ones. Champions Partizan Belgrade have seven foreigners in their squad, of whom four are regular starters. Their Senegalese striker Lamine Diarra was the first division's top scorer last season, while Portuguese midfielder Almami Moreira won the player of the year award.