Chinese Football Association Confirms Overseas Players Regulations

January 16, 2017

The Chinese Football Association (CFA) has confirmed the introduction of new regulations that will further limit the number of overseas players allowed to represent Chinese clubs in domestic matches. The move is designed to limit the influx of overseas players moving to China in financially-extravagant deals.

The CFA announced that clubs in the top two tiers of Chinese football will be limited to fielded a maximum of three foreign players per game for the 2017 campaign. The rule represents a tightening of former regulations which permitted three foreign players and a non-Chinese Asian player, as well as the option of substituting in another non-Chinese player from the bench .

The recent recruitment drive for foreign players has led to calls to introduce salary caps for Chinese Super League players, with recent Shanghai Shenhua signing Carlos Tevez reportedly earning £600,000 per week. Government officials have suggested a preference to reinvest large sums into grassroots development of football, as opposed to investment in high-profile marquee signings.

Sides will still be able to register five overseas players in their squad, but will only be able to field three per matchday.