Sports China Set To Reduce Number of Foreign Players on Pitch


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China said Monday it will cut foreign player numbers in top-flight teams to curb massive spending on overseas talent, with Chelsea's Diego Costa the latest to be linked to a big-money move.

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Teams in the Chinese Super League will be able to field no more than three foreigners in a match when the new 2017 season begins in March, according to new rules posted on the Chinese Football Association website.

Previously four non-Chinese players were allowed, provided one was from an Asian Football Confederation country.

The decision would be "advantageous for the overall development of Chinese football, advantageous for the cultivation of Chinese local footballers and advantageous for raising the level of China's national team," the CFA said.

The organisation also said it would act to rein in the "recent appearance of irrational investments and the payment of high transfer fees and salaries for domestic and foreign footballers".