England FA seeks 50% cut in non-EU players

Golden Eaglets

Ambition of many Nigerian footballers to ply their professional trade in England may remain a mirage as the Football Association has sent out its first draft of proposals to reduce the number of non-EU players within English football by up to 50%.
The FA’s England Commission earlier this year called for wholesale reform in the belief that too many “mediocre” players were being bought by clubs.
Proposed rule changes have been sent to the Premier League, the Football League and the players’ and managers’ unions.
The FA hopes a new system can be in place for the 2015-16 season.
The Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish Football Associations are also in discussion with their English counterparts.
The FA hopes to send an agreed raft of reformed measures to government ministers before the end of the year.
The current rules, called the Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) process, were introduced by the Home Office in 2008 to allow sport governing bodies to manage visa applications of elite players from non-EU countries.
The criteria states that only sportspersons “who are internationally established at the highest level whose employment will make a significant contribution to the development of their sport at the highest level in the UK” should be granted a visa.
However, the Commission believes the number of foreigners in the domestic game are blocking pathways for younger English footballers to develop.
The FA is attempting to try and increase the pool of talent, with the aim that England will win the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, reports the BBC.
Speaking in May, at the launch of the first part of the England Commission, established to examine the national team’s historic failings, FA chairman Greg Dyke said: “122 non-EU players have entered England under the GBE scheme since 2009.
“Nearly 50% didn’t meet the current criteria and came through an appeal process in which 79% of appellants have been successful.
“Remarkably, only 58% given work visas to play in the Premier League play any football in that league in the second season after their arrival.
“Our proposal to tighten the entry and appeals criteria for non-EU player immigration will create a necessary constraint that will encourage more considered and valuable player acquisitions from outside the EU.”

Author: News Editor

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