The number of foreign players Super Lig clubs can register starting next season will be reduced.
The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) plans to change the number of foreign players each Super Lig team can register, according to reports in Turkey.
While it is yet to be announced officially, a number of outlets with sources close to the TFF have verified the upcoming changes.
Currently, Super Lig clubs are allowed to register a total of 28 players of which 14 can be foreigners. This rule was introduced several years ago but has now been scrapped after a push for more homegrown talent to be promoted by the clubs.
According to the reports, starting next season, the TFF plans to limit clubs to 10 foreign players of which only 6 can be included in the starting line up while 2 can be used as substitutes while the other 2 will be left out of the match squad.
The foreigner player rule has been the focal point of debates all across the country since the beginning of the season with many claiming there aren’t enough Turkish players in the starting line-ups of most Super Lig clubs.
In fact, the TFF have changed the limit several times in the last decade but the result has been the same; it does not produce more Turkish talent. Which is what the proponents of the new rule are arguing; the league needs more Turkish players which will result in a more competitive Turkish national team.
However, the argument against reducing the number of foreign players in the Super Lig has been the one with the most support, certainly from the fans perspective.
Simply put, forcing clubs to play mediocre Turkish players who know that their place in the team is guaranteed is a recipe for disaster. To compete with the best, a player must be tested against the best and that means proving one’s skill in order to be selected by the coach to play.
In other words, it should be about merit not nationality.
Those in charge of Turkish football believe reducing the number of foreign players in the Super Lig will result in more Turkish players which will in turn improve the Turkish national team.
Things couldn’t be further from the truth, however, as the foreign player limit and producing homegrown talent have a negative correlation.
Players such as Cengiz Under, Zeki Celik, Caglar Soyuncu, Ozan Kabak, Enes Unal, Cenk Tosun are proof that the current system works and needs no adjustment. These players have all proven themselves in a league full of foreign players and are now plying their trade across Europe alongside some of the best in the world.