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Discrimination in Japan's Top League


Academy Player
May 19, 2020
Japan's Top League is not usually mentioned in a conversation about the world's top domestic competitions. Still really only semi-pro but it's come a long way in the past few years and a lot of big names pass through, as well as it being home to a lot of long term foreign players. A few of them on the wrong end of a pretty crap rule that needs to be changed . Isaac Ross( ex AB), Colin Bourke(ex NZ sevens), and Bracken Henry( ex Aust. Sevens). Starting to make the news in Japan, and a campaign to try and change it. (The rule has nothing to do with International rules, and is a domestic league issue only).

Won't let me post the article link....
Thanks for the link, not sure why it wouldn't let me post it. I'll try and look the others up, if you have links that's helpful though(or examples of any players).
IT's not quite that cut and dry though. It's not just the rule, but the implementation of it and how unbalanced it is compared to other rules.
The reason given for the rule was to protect homegrown talent, but there are only 3 players in the league who are affected by this rule(Japanese citizenship is extremely strict). When the rule was implemented there were spots for a total of about 40 foreign players in the league. Over the past 3 seasons that number has grown to over 80. Yet this one rule remains strictly in place.
Japan has 3 foreign player classifications. Capped, Uncapped, Asian. These 3 guys still fall under the Capped foreigner classification, making opportunities very limited. Only allowing 2 / team (total of 5 foreigners + 1 asian on the field, an extra foreigner if you have players in the national seven's squad)
Because the rule was implemented with a specific date, players who had their passports BEFORE the rule are exempt
(Players mid process are not, nor were they given warning of the incoming rule). So you also have some capped players running around as Japanese, some who can't.

All a bit of a dog's breakfast.
For Top 14, from what I can find, looks like this.
As of the 2017-18 season France's 30 professional clubs in the Top 14 and ProD2 must name a minimum of 14 Jiff-qualified [1] players in their 23-man matchday squads.
Jiff Qualified = players who had spent three seasons at a French club's youth academy before turning 21 or who had been licensed to play in France for five seasons before the age of 23.

Are there any further restrictions on foreign players? How many can take the field at one time? Capped vs uncapped?

Now don't get me wrong, I completely agree with domestic competitions nurturing and protecting homegrown talent. The issue is 1 specific rule and its implementation.
Less foreign players sounds jolly good to me.
Less foreign players sounds jolly good to me.

Yeah, I think there has to be a balance and possibly less is better, but the big question is what is a foreign player, specifically in regards to a domestic competition...

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