Warning: mysqli_num_fields() expects parameter 1 to be mysqli_result, boolean given in /home/diurztnz/public_html/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 3283
Call it the "Cleo Rule": CFA announces new rules on foreign players - Wild East Football
Connect with us


Call it the “Cleo Rule”: CFA announces new rules on foreign players

Guangzhou Evergrande’s proposal to add  two foreign player roster spots came before a full CFA committee today and passed receiving the necessary 2/3rds majority. Of the 64 possible votes, there were 61 representatives and the proposal received 43 “yes” votes, 16 “no” votes, and two abstentions. The rule will go into effect immediately, allowing teams to add two additional foreign players to their rosters.

However, it’s not that easy. After the change was passed, the CFA announced a very unusual caveat to the rule, which surely will make many of those who voted in favor of it regret their votes (unless they got paid for their votes by Evergrande boss Xu Jiayin). This rule will only apply to those teams currently in the Asian Champions League, ie Guangzhou Evergrande.

A mid-season rules change that will only benefit a single club, the club that proposed the change. If this isn’t an “only in China” situation, I don’t know what is. Mercifully, the CFA decided to put limits on the change, the “3+1” rule for foreigners on the pitch won’t change and the club will remain limited to five foreigners in the matchday roster.

It’s only my utter professionalism that has me calling this the “Cleo Rule” instead of “Why Even Bother Playing The Fucking Games, Just Give Evergrande The Title Like You Want To Do Rule”. We’ll name it after Cleo because it is he who Evergrande is proposing the rule for. After Lucas Barrios arrived in Guangzhou, Cleo was widely expected to be the odd foreigner out, now he’ll be able to remain with the Cantonese club instead of potentially going to an opponent.

I’m very proud of Guoan’s efforts to oppose this change, stating that such a major rules change should be researched and looked into thoroughly and not come in the middle of a season. However, the CFA is always looking for ways to make Chinese football look good around Asia and believes this move will help Evergrande compete in the ACL by keeping their foreign players fresh.

On the day that the world is fete-ing Chinese football for the coup in signing Didier Drogba, this move just shows how far behind the CFA is.

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.



  1. shanghai ultra

    21/06/2012 at 01:33


    • Steve

      21/06/2012 at 07:26

      Devil’s advocate here — not hugely different to the old rules in Europe way back when which allows you to register any number of non-domestic players but only stick 3 on the pitch?

      Of course it’s all about money and stunts domestic growth, but it could have been a lot worse — if we were talking of an increase in foreign permitted on the pitch, that would play much more into the hands of GZ, and potentially Shenhua if they ever got their act together.

      Love from the Ukraine


      • bcheng

        21/06/2012 at 08:54

        After reading how the rule was to be implemented (before yesterday’s decision), I realized its really not all that bad. It doesn’t seem like they are cutting any roster spots for Chinese players and not every team would go ahead and get the extra foreigners.

        However now that its implemented and it only applies to one team (at least for this season), there’s simply no way to justify it.

  2. Vilstrup Fyhn Jørgensen

    21/06/2012 at 04:14

    LOL I can’t ever…

    I mean, I get Guangzhou and others voting for more foreigers, but only for clubes in the champions?

    Just giving more power to the powerful teams… and what if a team has extra foreigers and fails to qualify for the next season’s champions? they’ll have to sell some of their foreigers at a really cheap price.

  3. Won Jin Um

    21/06/2012 at 09:32

    This is fuckin’ stupid. Why doesn’t the AFC step into this matter?

  4. Rovertlamb

    21/06/2012 at 11:28

    The rule makes little difference this or future years, especially if the 3+1 rule relmains in effect on the field. However, it shows the low degree of professionalism among league administration, so easily being “persuaded” mid-season by a single club lobbying for its sole benefit.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

More in Bizarre