Moscow, Sep 3 IANS | 3 months ago

Russia will gradually reduce the number of foreign players in the national sports league in order to boost national teams.

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said Wednesday that his ministry has drafted legislation that would give it complete control over the number of foreigners playing in Russia, reports Xinhua.

The number of foreign players in the country's Premier League football clubs would be decreased to six, while the ice hockey, volleyball and basketball clubs would be able to include only three on their rosters as of 2018 according to the proposal.

The bill is expected to become law early next year. It will give the government the means to impose its will on football club owners, who have repeatedly opposed the idea.

The minister's initiative came just after Russia's national football team flopped at the World Cup in Brazil, where they failed to make it into the knockout stage from a relatively easy group.

Mutko has expressed an opinion that the high number of foreigners harms the national (football) squad which desperately needs to improve its performance for the 2018 World Cup, which Russia will host.

(Posted on 03-09-2014)

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