The Saudi Professional League (SPL), in association with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF), announced on Friday, December 29, 2023, a modification to the number of players registered in the rosters of clubs participating in the Roshn Saudi League.
The change will go into effect for the 2024–2025 season, enabling teams to register 25 players as opposed to the prior 30 while accounting for each club’s entitlement to register ten non-Saudi players as long as they meet the following criteria:
- Eight non-Saudi players without an age limit.
- Two non-Saudi players were born in 2003 or after to boost investment in young talent.
- Each club continues to have the right to register one foreign player (born in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), provided that he was born in 1998 or later.
- Each club participating in the Roshn Saudi Professional League has the right to register a maximum of eight non-Saudi players in the list for each match in addition to one foreign player born in Saudi Arabia (except the King’s Cup and the Saudi Super Cup competitions, where all registered non-Saudi players can participate).
The decision is the result of several club workshops as well as consultation with the SAFF technical director, national team management, and the club support plan.
European players are being lured to Saudi Arabia.
A new margin that makes it possible for Saudi clubs to sign more players, especially well-known names, and bolster the Saudi Pro League even more.
The federation’s action has encouraged the major clubs to sign more elite overseas players. Although Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr were constrained at the time by the current foreign player restriction, they both expected the change last summer. Neymar, Malcom, Bono, Mitrovic, Neves, Milinkovic-Savic, and Koulibaly are the seven foreign players that Al-Hilal signed. Meanwhile, Otávio, Mané, Laporte, Seko Fofana, Brozovic, and Telles strengthened the team of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The teams that were involved in the last two transfer windows made the most of the league’s current regulations.
For the upcoming season, it permits each team to sign eight foreign players. As a result, Kingdom clubs splurged to bolster their lineups with Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.
Al-Ahli, for instance, put together a roster of eight internationals rather quickly. Among them were Roger, Veiga, Demiral, Kessie, Mahrez, Firmino, Saint-Maximin, Ibanez, and Mendy. Conversely, Ronaldo plays in Riyadh alongside Aymeric Laporte and Sadio Mane.
A 10-player quota on foreign nationals is expected to provide SPL clubs greater market flexibility as they continue to hire players. But first, this proposition needs to be verified.
However, the league would only allow eight foreign players to be present on matchdays. The two competitions in which this rule is not applicable are the King’s Cup and the Saudi Super Cup, where any internationally registered player may participate.
The new regulation seeks to stop Aboubakar’s case.
This revelation couldn’t have come at a more critical time, as Saudi teams aim to add more international talent to their squads. They now have the financial means to add more players, particularly A-listers, who will strengthen the league even further.
The chase of prominent players, such as Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah, has generated a lot of conjecture in recent months. The clubs want to present their best players to a global audience.
This new rule will make cases such as the one involving Vincent Aboubakar less likely to occur in the future. Following the acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo, Al-Nassr’s roster was limited to eight foreign players. resulting in the Cameroonian striker’s early departure from the team.