The Effect Of The Foreign Player Rule in Arab And Asian Football Leagues

Every league has foreign football players all over the world. They have different rules and regulations. Some of them have quotas and some of them have no quotas.

England has a unique “Homegrown Player Rule”. The homegrown player rule has been an initiative in England and the Premier League to allow more domestic players to be a brought up from a younger age in hopes of creating more talented domestic players. Currently, the Premier League has no restriction on the number of foreign players. But all clubs must have at least 8 homegrown players in their squads.

For the 2006-07 season, the limits on foreign players were lifted in Germany. There is no restriction on the number of foreign players in German Bundesliga. But very similar to England, all clubs must have at least 8 homegrown players in their squads.

Clubs can sign with 14 foreign and 14 domestic players in Turkey. After this rule, Turkey has started to export domestic players to abroad.  With the help of this rule, 12 players of Turkish National Team play in abroad.

According to IES Football Observatory Monthly Report, the number of ‘foreigners’ (defined as born outside that football association’s territory) is greater than 50 per cent in 6 of the 31 nations: Cyprus, England, Portugal, Belgium, Italy and Turkey.

England’s Premier League has the highest percentage of full internationals (42.5 per cent) followed by the Bundesliga (35.6 per cent), Russia (30.1 per cent), Italy (24.5 per cent), France (22.3 per cent) and Spain (20.7 per cent).

Up until 1985, the percentage of imported players in squads of teams in the five major European leagues never exceeded 10%. From that date onwards, the proportion of players has grown continuously.

The biggest increase was observed between 1995-96, the last season before the“Bosman” ruling came into force, and 2000-01: from 18.6% to 35.6%.This growth has continued to this day although ata lesser rate.

Foreigners represent 26.6% of players in the 37 leagues analyzed.

European and American MLS teams are by farthose who recruit the most from abroad.Within these leagues, almost half of the players have a foreign origin. This proportion is significantly lower in both Asiaand Latin America.

Quotas explain the relatively low percentage measured in Asia strongly limiting the presence of foreignplayers in teams. These limitations are aimed at allowing national footballers to play for the best teams in the country in order to have success of the national teams. But considering success of German National Team and no foreign player limitation in German Bundesliga, it is very obvious that restriction and ruling don’t work properly for Asian Nations.

Unlike other GCC Countries, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will increase the quota of foreign players in its pro league. 6 foreign players will be allowed instead of 4 foreign players.

The real issue for the development of Asianfootball over the long term lies in the ability of clubs,leagues and national associationsto improve the standard of training given to local talents and recruiting high level coaching staff.In addition to that, there is another very crucial fact; exporting domestic talents to abroad.

Especially GCC Countries must allow their domestic talents to go abroad. It will be very valuable for their national teams and for sure the more young talents will follow them. Exporting talented domestic players is very crucial to produce young domestic talents.

There are so many very talented domestic players in GCC football landscape such as Ahmed Khalil, Ali Makhbout, Omar Abdulrahman, Abdulfattah Assiri, Fahad Al Muwallad etc. It’s time that these talents must go abroad, but many consider that their time has almost passed now.

The competition must be created between players in Asian leagues. It is obvious that if there is a talented player, he will wear the jersey at starting 11 no matter what his nationality. Quality and talent are always better than nationalities and passports.

It is very obvious that the success of national teams and football teams is not in relation with limitations, quotas and restrictions. Football is a game which be played with good players. Passport has nothing to do with the success on football pitch.


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