The European Commission has on June 3 2010 closed legal proceedings against
Luxembourg over quotas for foreign footballers.
The Commission took legal action because of limits on the number of foreigners allowed to play for Luxembourgish clubs, contrary to EU rules on free movement of workers. The case was successfully concluded following changes to the rules applied.
The Commission began infringement proceedings against Luxembourg in July
2004 because of rules limiting the number of foreign footballers playing for
clubs in the Luxembourg Football Federation. These rules required that at least
seven players at the start of a match should have Luxembourg nationality or
have obtained their first licence to play in Luxembourg. A new rule was later
introduced that limited to four the number of players who had been transferred
in any one season. The Commission considered that these rules could be
discriminatory on the basis of nationality, representing a barrier to free
movement of workers.
Following discussions with the Luxembourg authorities and changes to the statute of the Luxembourg Football Federation, the Commission is now satisfied that the Luxembourgish rules do not constitute discrimination based on nationality. The changes focused on
In addition, in terms of the rules relating to transfers, the Luxembourg
authorities explained that this rule is temporary in nature since the status of
'transferred player' is only valid for the current year. Statistics also show
that, on average, the number of players transferred is less than four per
season. Based on this information, the Commission concluded that this provision
is also compatible with EU law.
The current rules do not represent, in the Commission's view, discrimination on grounds of nationality.