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FIFA Designates 2006 Cut-off Date


Football's (soccer's) world governing body has set a cutoff date of May 14, 2006 for all 2005-2006 competitions (including domestic cup finals), to allow sufficient time for players to recover and prepare for the 2006 World Cup.

In a statement Sunday, FIFA's executive committee allowed for just two exceptions to the May 14 deadline. The Champions League final will be played on May 17, while the English FA Cup Final will be contested three days later as the inaugural match at a rebuilt Wembley stadium.

Any additional exceptions to the ruling can only be granted to top non-European leagues and would require the approval of FIFA.

FIFA also ruled that Mexico's leading female football player -- Maribel Dominguez -- is not eligible to play for a professional men's club in Mexico's second division. The executive committee stressed that "there must be a clear separation between men's and women's football."

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