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Limits Put on Use of Foreigners

June 25, 2003|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

Since discovering that eight foreign players had become naturalized Mexican citizens by using false documents to support their claims, the Mexican league has reduced the number of foreign-born players its clubs can field.

The Mexican Football Federation (FMF) revealed last week that four Brazilians, two Uruguayans, one Paraguayan and one Argentine had circumvented league rules that allow teams to carry only five foreign players.

The names of the players and the clubs involved were not released.

As a result of the discovery, the presidents of Mexico's 20 first division teams, meeting in Acapulco, imposed a limit of four foreigners per team and said that instead of being allowed an unlimited number of naturalized players, each club can now have no more than one.

Antigua Scandal

An investigation into apparent financial wrongdoing at the Antigua Football Assn. has revealed that some or all of the $1 million that FIFA annually gives to each of its 204 member nations as part of its Financial Assistance Program Fund has been misappropriated or is unaccounted for.

According to a 76-page report released in St. John's, Antigua, on Tuesday, the association's previous administration did not keep adequate track of its finances. The report stated that several financial documents had disappeared.

"The [unidentified] custodian of the fund used varied and significant amounts for his personal use," the report claimed.

No charges have been filed, but the report is expected to be turned over to prosecutors or to police for further investigation.

Turkish Murder

An appeals court in Istanbul, Turkey, has overturned the conviction of Ali Umit Demir, a Turk who was sentenced to consecutive 7 1/2-year prison terms after he was found guilty of stabbing to death Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight in April 2000.

The two Englishmen were murdered during street fighting between fans of England's Leeds United and Turkey's Galatasaray before the teams' UEFA Cup semifinal game in Istanbul.

The appeals court ordered Demir to be held in jail and retried, pending further investigation into the murders, which the court said were committed under "heavy provocation." Two other suspects remain at large.

Quick Passes

The walls at Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium were covered with graffiti Tuesday by fans protesting the club's dismissal of Coach Vicente del Bosque. But Florentino Perez, the team's president, defended the move. "Time will tell if we're right or wrong," he said. "Like all decisions, there is an element of risk, but we believe this is the start of a new era and we need someone new."

Villareal has decided not to purchase Mexican national team striker Antonio de Negris. The former Club America player spent four months on loan with the Spanish team, scoring two goals in 15 games. De Negris will return to Club America, according to the news agency Efe.

Eduard Malofev, 61, resigned as coach of the Belarus national team after it lost five of its first six qualifying games for the 2004 European Championship.

Times wire services contributed to this report.

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