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German Soccer League Sticks with 50+1 Rule

The rule prohibiting foreigners from owning a mojority share in a Bundesliga club will stay in effect despite opposition from several clubs.

Soccer ball on a pile of euro notes.

German soccer will stay German owned for now

German soccer on Thursday decided to maintain the 50+1 rule that prohibits foreigners from owning majority shares in Bundesliga clubs.

The board of directors of the German soccer league (DFL) decided that the rule, which states that Germans have to own the majority of shares in Bundesliga clubs and have to have the majority of votes in clubs, should remain in place, the DFL announced Thursday.

The proposal to keep the rule in place is to be put to the general DFL body. To have it changed a two/thirds majority of the DFL membership, as well as of the German football association (DFB) would have to pass it.

At a press conference, DFL President Reinhard Rauball said that the decision was taken after a thorough discussion and consideration of the arguments put forward by Hanover 96.

"The Bundesliga lives from its stability and continuity. This has to be maintained to ensure that the competition remains fair,” he added

Hanover 96 officials had earlier called on the DFL to change the ruling to allow them to attract foreign investors for their club. Martin Kind, president of Hanover 96, said that more and more clubs are siding with the north German club.

"We don't yet have 75 percent, so the recommendations of the league's board of directors will pass," he added.

Additionally it was decided that the league cup would not be held in 2009. The cup, which is a pre-season playoff between the top five teams in the league, was not held this year. The teams will have to forgo any extra proceeds that would have been earned through ticket sales to the cup ticket.

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