Two leagues, the Indian Super League (ISL) and the I-League run parallelly from the Indian domestic football structure.
Until the 2019-20 season, the foreign player regulations were nearly similar in the ISL and the I-League. ISL clubs could register a maximum of seven players in their group and field maximum five at the starting XI. I-League clubs, on the other hand, could register six players that are overseas and fields five of them during a match.
In India, the foreign participant rules have always been subject to constant fluctuations.
In the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) competitions though, a team is permitted to register and field a max of four overseas players from which has to be from an AFC member country.
India are currently ranked 19th in Asia and 108th in the world. In this guide, Target takes a look at the overseas player regulations of the 18 countries which are ranked above the Blue Tigers.
The J1 League, the top grade of Japan football, has no limitations on foreign players. Each club may keep a maximum of five foreign players in their matchday squad. But, players out of J-League’s spouse nations (Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia and Qatar) do not come under this standards that means a side can technically subject an XI with no Japanese participant.
Persian Gulf Pro League, the highest tier league of Iran, enables clubs to register four foreigners out of which one has to be out of an AFC member nation. All four players could be included in the starting lineups.
Korean Republic (40)
Korea Republic’s top tier league, the K1 League, allows its nightclubs to register a maximum of five foreigners from which one has to be from an AFC country and one from an ASEAN country. All the registered players are allowed from the starting lineup.
A-League clubs can enroll a maximum of five players that are overseas. An exception is that there however. Players born overseas but have since gone on to gain Australian citizenship and New Zealand citizenship (at the case of Wellington Phoenix) are exempted. Additionally, Australian taxpayers and New Zealand taxpayers (in the event of Wellington Phoenix) who’ve chosen to represent another national group, or, a foreign Guest Player (eligible to play a maximum of fourteen games) are exempted. All five registered players are allowed in the starting lineup.
The Qatar Super League (QSL) enables clubs to enroll a maximum of five foreigners from which has to be from an AFC nation and one from some of the Arab nations. All enrolled foreigners are permitted in starting lineups.
Saudi Arabia (67)
The Saudi Professional League (SPL) is the very liberal league in Asia in terms of allowing foreign players to ply their trade from the league. The SPL clubs may enroll as many as eight foreigners but among them has to be of Saudi Arabian origin. Seven foreign players are permitted in the starting lineup.
The Iraqi Premier League enables its clubs to register a maximum of three foreign players. All of them are permitted from the starting lineup.
There are no limits in signing overseas players to the UAE Gulf Pro League clubs but the nightclubs may enroll only four foreigners in their squads. All four enrolled overseas players can be included in the starting lineup.
The Chinese Super League (CSL) enables registration of four foreign players and out of which only three could be fielded in the starting XI. One non-resident but Chinese descent player from either Hong Kong Macau or Taiwan could be signed by the clubs.
Due to geopolitical reasons, currently, no foreign nationals ply their trade in the Syrian Premier League.
From the Oman Professional League, the team can enroll a maximum of four overseas players in the squad that comprises one from an AFC nation. All overseas players let from the starting lineups.
Clubs in Uzbekistan Super League can enroll five overseas players from which has to be out of an AFC nation. All overseas players allowed from the starting lineups.
The Lebanese Premier League allows its clubs to enroll a maximum of five foreign players which include one compulsorily from Palestine and one from any of the other AFC nations. All registered foreign players let from the starting lineups.
In the V. League1, every club can enroll a total of four overseas players from which has to be naturalized Vietnamese. All registered overseas players are allowed in the starting lineups.
Kyrgyz Republic (96)
Following the AFC contests’ standards, the Kyrgyz Premier League enables four foreigners to be enrolled including one from an AFC member state. All enrolled foreign players let from the starting lineups.
The Jordan Guru League enables its nightclubs to register a maximum of 3 foreigners and not one of those three players could be a goalkeeper. All registered foreign players let from the starting lineups.
The Bahraini Premier League allows its clubs to register a maximum of six foreigners in their squads however none of those players could be a goalkeeper. All registered foreign players allowed from the starting lineups.
Just like India, two parallel leagues run in Palestine, the West Bank Premier League, and the Gaza Strip Premier League. The Palestine Football Association (PFA) does not allow overseas nationals to ply their trade either of the leagues however there is an exception. An unlimited number of Israeli players of Arab sources may play in the leagues.