Football is a global game enjoyed by all. Apart from the entertainment, it also serves as a medium to eliminate discrimination, racism, and other social vices. People from different backgrounds come together to form a team, so it is rare to see football clubs who comprises of players from only a particular region, race, ethnicity or religion.
Although many clubs — especially from the 3rd world countries — consist of players only from their countries/regions, this is a result of their inability to afford or attract players from other places and not because they have a policy in place to prevent such from happening.
In this article, TOP SOCCER BLOG looks at clubs who run a no foreign player policy.
These clubs prefer to utilize players who are born or trained in their region only. Such clubs have both admirers and critics alike. Their admirers commend them for encouraging local talents while critics accuse them of discrimination.
There are several reasons why these clubs have a selection policy so rooted, among them are: the reaffirmation of local or national identity, promotion of loyalty, generation of sense of belonging among fans and constructing their own sports and cultural symbol.
Here are the football clubs with no foreign players policy.
1. ATHLETICO BILBAO
Athletico Bilbao is the most popular football club in the world when it comes to the “no foreign players policy”. Athleti only use players from the Basque region, it is either the players were born there or trained there from a very young age.
Athleti started using this policy in 1912, and it has proven successful so far, with the club having never been relegated from La Liga and regularly competes at the highest level domestically and continentally.
Some of the most famous players that have been produced by Athletico Bilbao are: Telmo Zarra, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Aymeric Laporte, Ander Herrera, Javi Martinez, Fernando Llorente, Aritz Aduriz and Iker Munian.
2. C. D. GUADALAJARA
Guadalajara is a Mexican top side popularly known as “Chivas“. The club only signs Mexican players, and over the course of its history, it has produced players for the Mexican national team and is one of the most successful clubs in Mexico and North America.
Like, Athletico Bilbao, Guadalajara have never been relegated in their history.
Some of the famous players who have played for Guadalajara includes: Javier Hernandez “Chicharito”, Carlos Vela and Omar Bravo.
3. CLUB DEPORTIVO EL NACIONAL
Club Deportivo El Nacional is an Ecuadorian top club who also have a no foreign player policy. It only uses players from Ecuador. Due its no foreign player policy, the club is known as “Puros Croillos” (The Pure Natives)
El Nacional is the most successful football club in Ecuador having won the most league titles and participated in the Copa Libertadores than any Ecuadorian club.
Some of the famous players to have played for the club are: Antonio Valencia (ex-Manchester United captain), Felix Borja and Christian Benitez.
4. UE OLOT
Olot is a Spanish club based in Catalonia. It only signs players from the Catalan Countries (which spreads across regions in Spain, Italy, France and Andorra).
5. DESNA FC
Desna FC is a club from Ukraine. Although it doesn’t have a pronounced no foreign player policy like the aforementioned clubs, FC Desna Chernihiv is trying to indirectly implement the policy in the Ukrainian league. Every talented player from the club is contracted to Shakhtar or Dynamo Kiev (both in Ukraine) from a young age.
So far, they are doing well as they are regular members of the Ukrainian first division and their squad is composed of players only from Ukraine.
6. MALAVAN FC
Malavan FC is a team from the Iran Pro League, founded in 1969. The team has the policy of having only players belonging to the Anzali region. The club has one of the most passionate fans in Iran and currently competes in the Iranian second division.
SAPRISSA FC is Costa Rican club. It was once owned by Jorge Vergarra, who also owns Guadalajara. Under Vergarra’s ownership, the club adopted the no foreign player policy that was in place in Guadalajara, and Saprissa was only fielding Costa Rican players then. The club has since overturned the policy when Vergarra sold the club.
REAL SOCIEDAD also based in Basque like Bilbao, once used the Basque-players-only policy but have dumped it. Nevertheless, the club is majorly focused on homegrown players but have few foreign players in their squad.
BARAKALDO FC is also a Basque-based club that uses the no foreign player policy but have recently abandoned it.
What do you think of the “no foreign player policy” in football? Use the comment box below to express your thought. Thanks