Tuesday May 31 2016
Serie A 'Italian' reform

Starting from next season Serie A will require squads to include four youth team players and four players with Italian experience.

The reform introduced by the Italian federation is modelled after a UEFA regulation that defines which players are eligible for European cups.

The reform had already been introduced last year, but the previous season was considered to be transitional, and its rules did not apply. The Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the norm will come into full effect for the 2016/17 campaign, when all Serie A teams must present squad lists inclusive of eight players with a background in Italy.

Specifically, every team must include four players who spent at least three years, between the ages of 16 and 21, with the club's youth team, and another four players who must have spent three years with any Italian club before reaching the age of 21. Both these categories may include foreigners, though in practice the vast majority of these players are likely to be Italian.

Players who are still below the age of 21 can be used freely, without being indicated in any of the lists.

The reform is aimed at increasing the number of Italian and domestically formed players in Serie A.

While the federation's move is likely to prove popular among the fans, it places many clubs in a difficult situation with regards to the transfer market, and has already been the object of some criticism.

“Italian football is not prepared for this rule,” said Juventus sporting director Beppe Marotta, as reported by the Gazzetta. “It would have been best to adopt some remedies first, and then action the reform.

“The squad has to be reduced, penalising players that are useful over the economy of a season, especially for a team like Juventus, that has to play in three tournaments and more than 50 games.”

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