South African clubs to limit foreigners

SOUTH African clubs might lose the right to sign five foreign players if the national football-controlling body Safa has its way, according to the Sowetan newspaper.
This is in line with a plan by the Safa executive committee, elected in September last year, to see the senior national team Bafana Bafana become a top team on the continent.

Safa’s top brass will meet their counterparts at the Premier Soccer League in Johannesburg today to discuss this thorny issue.

Issues relating to amateur and professional soccer will also be discussed.

Safa president Kirsten Nematandani said yesterday: “The issue of foreign players is on the agenda for our meeting with the league.

“Currently, National Soccer League clubs can sign five foreign players, which is not doing the development of football in our country any good.

“In addition, foreigners who have been in this country for more than five years become naturalised South Africans, meaning they can be fielded as local players.
“The problem is that these players cannot play for our
national teams.

“Egypt are the best African team because they use local players in their leagues and we should do the same here at home.

“We should bank on the talent that we already have and we have it in abundance.”

Tinashe Nengomasha of Zimbabwe, Lehlohonolo Seema of Lesotho, Siza Dlamini of Swaziland, Valery Nayaho of Burundi, Manuel Bucuane of Mozambique, Josephy Kamwendo of Malawi and Kennedy Mweene of Zambia are among the players who secured permanent residence in South Africa.

The PSL’s rules state that each club can sign and field five foreign players, but it is silent on the number of international caps for those players.

In England, all foreign players are required to have featured at least 75percent in recent games for their countries to get a work permit.

A top coach, who preferred not to be named, said: “Only quality foreign players must come here.

“Most of the foreign players in the PSL are average players.

“We need to sign players such as Knowledge Musona, Josephy Kamwendo and Kennedy Mweene.”

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