The National Soccer League’s board of governors has approved a change in the rules relating to the use of U23 players in the National First Division.
Before the NFD clubs had to have five U23 South Africans in their starting line-ups and now they are required to have at least two U23 players on the field throughout a game.
The Premier Soccer League released a statement, which reads: ‘The National Soccer League (NSL) Board of Governors approved a change in the NSL Rules relating to the use of the U23s in the National First Division.
The Rule came in effect on 01 August 2016.
Please see below the old Rule and the new Rule – as it now appears in the NSL Handbook.
The Old Rule reads:
‘31.2 Clubs participating in the First Division must include a minimum of five (5) players who are both U23 and eligible to represent South Africa in the starting line-up for every match. The starting line-up is the eleven (11) players who are representing the team on the field of play at the kick-off of the match and are shown as such on the team sheet. This restriction will not be applicable during a match in any competition where Premier Division teams and First Division teams participate in the same tournament.’
The New Rule Reads:
‘35.2. Clubs participating in the National First Division must include in the team sheet for every match a minimum of five (5) players who are both under 23 and eligible to represent South Africa. A minimum of two (2) under 23 players must be on the field of play at all times during a match.
‘35.3. The restriction set out in this Rule will not be applicable during matches in the National First Division qualification competition, the knockout competition which involves both the Premier Division and National First Division Member Clubs, the promotion play-off or any replacement competitions.’