Karl Decena, InterAKTV
Nomads FC, a squad formed by expatriates living in the country, will not see action in the 2013 United Football Cup after the league decided not to grant the team an exception to the new foreign player rule.
“Their request for exemption is not granted as far as the Cup is concerned,” UFL President Randy Roxas said. “They found it difficult to comply with the foreign cap rule.”
Starting next season, the UFL will implement a cap on foreign players for each team. Clubs are only allowed to field five imports every match, while two more foreigners can join provided that they have been permanent residents of the Philippines for at least five years.
Nomads claimed that the notice for the new rule was too short, and it didn’t have enough resources to recruit necessary local players for such period of time.
“I feel that it is being done too soon, three months notice,” said Jeff Blake, a member of the Nomads management, in an earlier interview. “Not a lot of teams are able to do that financially — and we can’t.”
However, the UFL decided not to exempt Nomads from the rule for the Cup competition to assure the balance of competition among participating teams.
Nomads’ non-participation reduced the cast of the UFL Cup in October from 28 to 27 teams, which led to a change in the tournament format.
One of the founding members of the UFL, Nomads, which finished eighth in the League last season, has volunteered to be relegated to Division Two to have more time to comply with the new rule.
As for the possible replacement of Nomads in Division One, UFL general manager Cesar de Larrazabal has earlier assured that the slot will be contested competitively.
“One way of doing it is playoff. We’re reviewing all our alternatives that basically take merit on the pitch, how the formula will be is something that we will solve,” he said.