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China cracks down on foreign players


China has cut the number of foreign players allowed to play in each football match from four to three per team, although five will be allowed in the match day squad (one has to be Asian).   There will also have to be one Chinese player under 23 on the pitch.

The unprecedented transfer binge has led the top sports administration body to act, no doubt with Beijing's endorsement.  Concern about capital outflows was growing and in particular the public manner in which it was happening in football.   There is to be a wider crackdown on overseas acquisitions in order to shield the renmimbi from downward pressures.

Other measures to be taken include new financial standards for clubs, third party auditing and a clampdown on illegal signing-on fees.

It's all come a bit too late to prevent considerabe turbulence at Chelsea over Diego Costa.  Chelsea have said that they will not sell him under any circumstances and he will be reintegrated in the squad. There is concern that he rejected an improved contract offer of £200,000 a week from the club.  An exasperated Antonio Conte shouted 'Go to China!' at him last week.