The Chinese Football Association has announced new policies on players and title sponsors that will allow Chinese Super League teams to have a greater number of overseas players on their rosters.
In one of three notices released on its website, Chinese football’s governing body will allow CSL teams to register up to seven overseas players and have five on the pitch at any one time, while second-tier League One teams can register four and have three on the field.
Previously, CSL teams were limited to five registered overseas players, of whom only four could be on the pitch at once.
A CFA official said the change conforms to the trend of Asian professional football and will help enhance the competitiveness of Chinese teams in the AFC Champions League.
Due to an increase in the number of overseas players in the AFC Champions League, professional leagues from many Asian countries and regions have adjusted their own regulations.
Restrictions on the registration of overseas players in Japan’s J-league have been lifted, while Saudi Arabia is set to increase the number of registered overseas players from eight to ten.
Other new CFA policies include allowing clubs to have team title sponsors between 2024 and 2028, but the clubs’ names must continue to maintain “neutral”.
The CFA introduced “neutral name” regulations in December 2021, resulting in most of the 16 CSL clubs having to remove the names of sponsors from their club names.
Furthermore, the CFA is to allow clubs to relocate to other cities and has lifted restrictions on changing registered associations. However, clubs cannot apply for such changes again within a five-year period.
The restriction that newly-promoted clubs are not allowed to transfer significant equity within one year has also been removed.