Who's Legible to Play in China? 2017 Report

It seems everyone want to play in China...that's where you can be handed a big-fast pay check every week. I mean a week pay check bigger than what most footballers could earn in their entire life time playing elsewhere.

Mathew klanin wrote an article titled: "The World Best Will Soon Be Playing in China." Evergrade failed in their €250m bid to bring over Christano Ronaldo to China. And Shangai SIPG are already doing underground work to launch a full bid for Lionel Messi.

Todd wantizki said, "I foresee the final battle of who is really the world's best...between Ronaldo and Messi, taking place in China in the near future.

With world focus on China, let us even find out -  who's legible to play in this  largest populated country on earth.

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) has Monday, January16, 2017 confirmed the introduction of new regulations that will further limit the number of foreign players able to appear in domestic matches,
The CFA said in a statement that clubs in the top-tier China Super League (CSL) and China League One (CL1) will be limited to fielding a maximum of three foreign players per game for the 2017 season.

Before now, in the past few seasons, a ‘3+1’ rule has been utilised, meaning clubs could field three foreigners plus a fourth player from another Asian country at any one time. A fifth foreigner could be named on the bench and introduced into the play, as long as the 3+1 rule was adhered to.

The new regulation makes it even more difficult for foreign players to sign or play for any CSL/ CL1 clubs. The CFA said that clubs will only be able to register five foreign players in their overall squad, but not all will be able to be used in any one game. Teams will also have to include two younger domestic (home grown) players born in or after 1994 in their match day squad, one of whom will have to start the game.

In interpreting this new regulations, There' s no explicit legibility rule restricting players from any national per se, but there are serious implications. Clubs in China are more careful with the recruitment of foreign players.

China’s President, Xi Jinping, is an avid football fan who is keen to develop the sport in the country and Super League clubs have favored the signings of popular stars from Europe top flight leagues - Premier League, Laliga, Bundesliga, and French ligue1 - to attract global attention and viewership .

CSL clubs have invested heavily in marquee signings of  South American, Africans playing in top flight clubs in Europe. But only five can be in a club at a time. The list keep growing Trevez, Oscar, Ramirez, Asamoah Gyan, Gervhino, Mikel Obi, Obafemi Martins... It is easier for these calibre of players to Sign China.

But it is nearly impossible to sign less known players or young upcoming players direct from Africa to China. Implicitly, the regulation insisted that the clubs recruit more of home grown players... of Chinese nationals first and Asian players second.

Although, Chinese people have this soft spot for South American players, but it is diffcult for a club to use its limited five foreign players slot to recruit an upcoming player.

Although, Brazilian International, Oscar, was transfered from Chelsea to Shangai SIPG for €60m; no chinese club is ready to even sign a foreign upcoming player as low as €500k. They are forced to sign their own players.

That means Chinese clubs doesn't gloom foreign players, no matter how good the player is. They only sign popular foreign pro from Europe top flight clubs that can give them instant global media attention as well as be an instant hit in the field of play.

If you want to hit it big in China, first go to Europe and make name for yourself, then head on to China for the windfall. For the aging Nigerian players in Europe: Osaze Odenwinge, Vincent Enyeama, Emmanuel Emernike... should quickly begin to make plan how to get into China. They could easily attain an overwhelming sign on fee before their eventual retirement.

But for the young and upcoming players in Nigeria or Africa... don't bother, you may never find a club in China! Although, I hear you can even earn a lot playing at the amateur level in Shangai.

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