Football

Jol questions UEFA rule

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Martin Jol has called for UEFA to change the rules which have seen record signing Bryan Ruiz cup-tied for Fulham's Europa League Group K opener.

Ruiz will be unable to feature for the Cottagers in Europe until the new year after playing for Thursday evening's opponents, FC Twente, in the Champions League qualifying rounds.

Manager Jol agrees players should be prevented from representing more than one club in a cup competition during a given season but cannot see why it should cross over to other events. "I don't agree with that rule," he said.

"If you have played for another team, there should be a rule not to involve them in the same competition. But this is another competition."

Asked if he could do anything to change it, Jol joked: "I can't. Maybe Sir Alex (Ferguson)..."

Jol knew Ruiz would be cup-tied when he splashed out a record £10.6million on him on transfer deadline day, but the same cannot be said for the player himself.

"He said just after signing, 'I thought I could play'," Jol revealed. "I said, 'No you can't'. It was probably an advantage for us because if he would have known before, it would've been a problem - maybe."

Indeed, it would appear the lure of European football may have swayed Ruiz as he weighed up a rival offer from Newcastle. Jol is more ambivalent about his side's participation in this season's Europa League, having gone through four gruelling qualifying rounds to reach the group stage.

The Dutchman looks set to rest star striker Bobby Zamora, among others, ahead of Sunday's Barclays Premier League match against Manchester City. But Jol did not go as far as Tottenham counterpart Harry Redknapp, who left no doubt where his priorities lay by excluding Rafael van der Vaart from his Europa League squad, a decision which irked the Holland midfielder.

Former Spurs boss Jol said: "If Harry thinks he shouldn't involve Rafael, it's up to him. I can probably imagine that there would be a situation for Spurs that they don't want to involve (Jermain) Defoe or Rafael van der Vaart. But if he's the only one, it's a tough one."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Europa League
Tottenham Hotspur
European News
Fulham
Bobby Zamora
Football
Manchester City
Premier League
Newcastle United
Alex
UEFA Champions League
Rafael Van der Vaart
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