Real Mallorca's Argentine midfielder Ariel Ibagaza is taking the Spanish Football Federation and his club to court in an attempt to gain the same status as European Union players. If successful, the case could open the way for dozens of Argentine players in Spain to claim EU status and would effectively wreck the current regulations that impose a limit of five “foreigners” per club. A Mallorcan-based newspaper yesterday reported that the 24-year-old former Lanus player is arguing that a treaty between the two countries gives Argentine players with residency permits in Spain the same employment rights as EU citizens. A spokesman for Real Mallorca confirmed yesterday they had been notified about the case but said they had made no official response. Spain's Football Federation said they had no comment to make on the matter. Spanish soccer was rocked earlier this season when Estonian-born Russian international Valery Karpin, who plays for Celta Vigo, gained EU status after claiming discrimination. Karpin argued that employment agreements between the European Union and Russia meant he should be given the same rights as any player from Spain or another EU country.

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