North African players in the Egyptian Premier League will be considered non-foreigners starting December, according to Egyptian Football Association (EFA) board member Essam Abdel-Fattah.
“The recent suggestion by the Union of North African Football Federations – which includes Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco – to consider the players from all these countries as locals in their different football leagues,” Abdel-Fattah told media.
Each Egyptian football team is allowed to sign a maximum of three foreign players, so if the decision were to go through, North African players will not count towards this limit.
“The execution of the decision is pending a decisive meeting in Morocco, but there is a big chance that it will be applied,” the board member explained.
“I don’t think that Egyptian clubs will reject this decision, as they are always looking to sign foreign players so all will benefit.
“There is also an agreement to exchange referees in different competitions. This has already started with Egypt and Tunisia, and Algeria and Libya have asked to do the same,” he concluded.
Egypt has already treated Syrian players as non-foreigners in recent seasons due to the political unrest in their country, but the EFA management decided in July that the ongoing season will be the last where this will be in effect.