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Germany

Soccer Chief: Time to Restrict Foreigners

West Germany's 1974 World Cup winner Franz Beckenbauer has called for a reduction of the number of foreigners in German soceer just eight days before the kick-off of the 2005/06 Bundesliga season. German teams continued their trend of investing in foreign talent this summer and Beckenbauer, head of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee, believes the time has come for football's governing body FIFA to cull the number of foreigners. "I am 100 percent in favor of reducing the number of foreign players in Germany," said Beckenbauer. "It is not amusing when 90 percent of the team is from abroad." In April 2001, Energie Cottbus made Bundesliga history by becoming the first German team to start with 11 foreign players in a 0-0 draw with VfL Wolfsburg. Even German champions Bayern Munich - where Beckenbauer is club president - have three Frenchmen, two Brazilians, two Peruvians, a Bosnian and an Iranian in their cosmopolitan squad.

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