Chinese Football Association impose foreign player cuts in Super League

Former Premier League stars Oscar and Graziano Pelle have moved to China
Image: Former Premier League stars Oscar and Graziano Pelle have moved to China

Teams in the Chinese Super League can only field three foreign players in a game following the introduction of new rules.

China's domestic football league will kick off in March with its popularity gaining momentum following the recent acquisition of stars from the English top-flight, such as Chelsea duo Oscar (Shanghai SIPG) and John Obi Mikel (Tianjin TEDA).

Sky sources have also reported Blues striker Diego Costa has become unsettled by a £30m-per-year offer from a Chinese club and was involved in a training ground spat, reportedly ended by manager Antonio Conte telling him to "go to China".

However, there appears to be concern over the lack of development for younger local players with the Chinese Football Association announcing an immediate cut to the number of overseas stars allowed in the league.

Off to China?

Off to China?

Conte plays down Costa spat at Chelsea

Every team will only be allowed to have three foreign players on the pitch at one time, and can only have five in the 18-man match day squad.

There must also be two Chinese U23 players in the squad and one must start. Up to now, teams had been allowed to field three foreign players and one non-Chinese Asian foreign player.

The new rules were due to be introduced in 2018, but will now be in force for the start of this season. The ban on foreign goalkeepers remains.

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Sky Sports secured the rights last year to show live games from the Chinese Super League for three seasons.

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