Tougher rules considered to promote young soccer talent

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Brazilian international midfielder Oscar arrives at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, after agreeing to join China super league football club Shanghai SIPG from Chelsea in Shanghai, China, January 2, 2017. The Chinese Football Association is considering introducing more incentives to recruit local young talent ahead of the new Super League season. It follows a decision in January to curb the employment of foreign players.The soccer governing body made a revision to the January measures on Monday and reinstated its support for locally-produced young players, according to Beijing Youth Daily.Super League clubs would automatically record a 3-0 loss if they fail to field at least one Chinese player under the age of 23 in a match, the newspaper reported. The new policy, released in January, already required clubs to feature at least two Chinese U23 players in their match day squads, while at least one of the them has to make the starting lineup. The January rules also reduce the maximum number of foreign players on the field from four to three as a counter measure to a flurry of big-spending signings in the winter transfer window. Stars such as Carlos Tevez, Oscar and Axel Witsel grabbed global headlines for agreeing to play in China. The CFA rolled out such measures amid concerns that this trend of excessive use of foreign stars would crowd out local talents. In line with CFA’s new policy, defending domestic champion Guangzhou Evergrande unveiled its support for local talent, aiming to field an all-Chinese squad in 2020. The 2017 Chinese Super League, the top-flight league in the country, will open on March 4.