Chinese Super League rules will have major implications for foreign stars

Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table to with a 3-0 win, and Conte was quick to pour cold water on the rumours at full time.

Reports in Chinese media suggest the Chinese Football Association (CFA) is set to implement new rules which allow only three foreign players to play in Chinese Super League matches at a time.

The soccer watchdog also said that teams should have two Chinese U23 players in their 18-member lineup, and should field at least one of them.

The CFA wants its Super League clubs to trade independently of cash influxes from rich owners "and enhance their management and operational capabilities to ensure long-term stable development of the professional league for the Chinese football to make a positive contribution". "The club didn't inform me about this".

China will tighten rules over the number of overseas players able to appear in domestic games, amid concerns that clubs have been over-spending on foreign talent with a rapid growth in the huge fees being paid for high-profile imports. Robbie Kruse has been strongly linked with a move to Liaoning Whowin.

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Most reently Oscar and Carlos Tevez made headlines worldwide - the former moving to Shanghai SIPG for €60 million, the latter to Shanghai Shenhua on a reported world-record salary of €38 million per season. A fifth foreign player can be used as a substitute as long as the "3+1" rule is maintained.

The organisation said that it would also be taking action to curb the "recent appearance of irrational investments and the payment of high transfer fees and salaries for domestic and foreign footballers".

"The CFA will give clear and specific plans regarding the club youth system and infrastructure, will fight against fake contracts, signing fees and other illegal activities", the statement said.

Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC.

  • Tabitha Byrd