The Major Indoor Soccer League's executive committee voted unanimously yesterday not to lend players to Team America, effectively ending any chance of a transfer agreement between the MISL and the North American Soccer League this season.
Team America officials, who had counted on receiving approximately five players from the MISL, reacted angrily to the announcement.
"I am very angry and disturbed by the decision," said Team America owner Robert Lifton. "I feel very frustrated for this country, which will now not have all of the best Americans at its disposal."
"It is a sad day for soccer when players are prohibited for political reasons from playing for their national team," said General Manager Beau Rogers. "I can't see what purpose this decision serves. I would have thought the soccer officials in this country would have been able to work an agreement out."
Citing a lack of protection for its players, the five-member MISL committee rejected a proposal offered at a meeting of MISL, NASL, players association and Team America officials on May 2.
MISL Commissioner Earl Foreman said that an informal poll of the other team owners unanimously supported yesterday's decision.
"We felt the best interests of our players were served by not allowing them to join the other league," said Foreman. "Our season is still going on, and for our players to immediately join the outdoor league would be debilitating for us."
Foreman said that the recent decision by the International Olympic Committeee not to allow Team America to represent the United States in the 1984 Olympics influenced his owners' vote.
When Team America was originally set up, it was agreed that space would be left on the roster for approximately five indoor players when their season ended in late May. But suitable compensation for indoor teams lending players and protection for the players could not be agreed upon.
NASL President Howard Samuels said he will ask the league's owners for more players for Team America at a meeting Monday in New York.