If you thought all it took was excellent soccer skills to play in the English Premier League you were right. Until now, that is. Starting in October, new rules stipulate that in order to play in the league you’ve got to be able to play, and you’ve got to be able to speak English.
The new restrictions form part of the Government’s points-based immigration system which is being introduced this year to ensure that only those with skills the country needs are allowed in. The rules stipulate that skilled workers, including football players and managers, from non-EU states must be able to speak and understand English before being allowed into the country.The rules would have prevented 20,000 people from taking jobs in the UK in 2007, as well as a handful of the most exciting soccer stars in the world. Could you imagine the Premier League without stars Carlos Tevez, Ji-Sung Park, and Denilson? I didn’t think so. But be forewarned, things could get ugly.
Liam Byrne, the immigration minister, said “Our new points system means that British jobseekers get the first crack of the whip and that only the skilled migrants we actually need will be able to come.”And of course, that refers to soccer players as well. So before long the English Premier League will be full of just that – Englishmen. And expect no mercy from the government. Byrne, for one, is unsympathetic.
He added: “Footballers earn enough money to pay for professional tuition.”It’s hard to argue with that one.