FFA defer cut to A-League visa spots

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has deferred plans to reduce the cap on foreign players in the A-League until 2017/18.

The move to reduce visa spots from five to four per club was due to come into effect from next season but has been widely panned by clubs.

Most recently, Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau blamed uncertainty over the visa cap for the club releasing Portuguese star Fabio Ferreira.

FFA has argued a cut to foreign imports will open the door tpo develop more Australian youngsters.

But coaches have said it will diminish the quality of the Australian topflight.

The Board of FFA decided to defer the reduction at its meeting last week, based on a review by the FFA Technical Department and submissions from A-League clubs.

Melbourne City FC coach John van’t Schip recently told the Herald Sun newspaper reducing the number of foreign players was a “bad idea”.

“I understand that not everyone can get high-profile foreigners, but we also have to deal with the dates of the different national teams that don’t work in line with the A-League,’’ he said.

“So the moment that it goes back to less foreigners, you have to get more Australian players and then you have selection problems with national teams.”