London (AFP) - A British lawmaker called on Tuesday for fans to boycott English Premier League football matches in protest at the high number of foreign players taking part in the competition.
The overseas presence was making it impossible for England to win the World Cup again, claimed David Amess, a member of the Conservative Party led by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Amess labelled the Premier League an "absolute disgrace" and called for a boycott of English football's lucrative top-flight ahead of the new season, which starts on August 16.
However, Amess urged fans to attend matches played by teams in England's Football League, which oversees the three divisions below the Premier League.
"I was unable to support either of the teams that played in the final but the thing that I'm very concerned about was the performance of the English football team.
He contrasted England's first-round exit in Brazil with the performance of the 1966 side, who beat the then West Germany 4-2 after extra-time in the World Cup final at London's Wembley Stadium -- the only time England have won the World Cup.
"In 1966 it was my home team of West Ham who provided Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters, who led the team and scored all the four goals.
"All of these players were home-grown.
"Nowadays the Premier League is an absolute disgrace. Our footballers are paid far too much money and under perform.
"I'm advising everyone to boycott Premier League matches in the future.
"Not the other league(s), the rest of of the football teams are fantastic.
"But we will never win the World Cup again if we continue to have all these overseas players."
Earlier on Tuesday, Greg Dyke, the chairman of England's governing Football Association, reiterated his support for England manager Roy Hodgson despite the team failing to win a single one of its three group games in Brazil.
"I thought Roy Hodgson did quite a good job (at the World Cup) -- I've got a lot of time for him," Dyke said, while giving evidence to a committee of lawmakers.
"One of the big problems English football has is the average Premier League manager lasts 12 months if you take (Arsenal's) Arsene Wenger out.
"The ability to look long-term therefore is going to be quite limited. In England your first job as a manager is to sort out your contract when you go in and the second is to sort out your contract when you leave.
"Our view is Roy has a four-year contract and he will continue that contract," Dyke also told the Commons' Culture, Media and Sport committee.
"Some progress was made. But what we are going to look at is are there more fundamental changes we need to make? We'll look at that in September."
- Sports & Recreation
- English Premier League
- David Amess
- Prime Minister David Cameron