The number of non-Israelis playing in the Premier League will increase this season, following a decision yesterday by the Premier League administration.
Premier League teams will be able to choose between signing two foreign players and an unlimited number of Bosmans, or three foreign players and one Bosman, the league administration decided yesterday. However, teams will be able to register only four non-Israeli players for each game.
Last season, teams were allowed to sign two foreign players and two Bosmans or three foreign players. Another change is that, in line with ULEB regulations, only American players will be labeled foreign, while all other non-Israeli players will be labeled Bosmans. Last season, only European players were considered Bosmans.
The Players Association surprisingly agreed to the motion. Nir Alon, the chairman of the Players' Association, said: "In view of the exodus of Israeli players to Europe, we had to allow the teams to increase their quota of non-Israeli players. I believe that team coaches will want to preserve the status of Israeli players as they create identification with teams and generate the interest of the fans."
The Players Association and the league administration agreed that if the number of Israeli players in Europe fell below five, then the quota for non-Israeli players in the Premier League would be reduced. So far, six Israeli players - Papi Turgeman, Amit Tamir, Lior Lubin, Meir Tapiro, Afik Nissin and Uri Cohen Mintz - are signed with European teams for this season.
League administration chairman Avner Kopel said he was happy the players' association had agreed to the move and promised that any future decision on the quota of non-Israeli players would be taken in partnership with the Players' Association.
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