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Italian FA to Treat Football Players From UK & Switzerland Same as EU Citizens

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Following a request made by Italy’s Football Federation (FIGC), players from the United Kingdom and Switzerland will be treated as European Union citizens in Italy.

The new decision means that Italian teams are now eligible to bring a larger number of players from countries located outside the European Union to Italy.According to Reuters’ report, clubs in Italy are only allowed to register two non-EU players each season. Such a rule remained in place after the UK officially got out of the European Union in 2020.

 “Players with Swiss and British citizenship are equivalent to EU players in all respects,” the Federation pointed out in a statement.

The new changes will take effect from the 2023-2024 season, as announced by the FIGC.

“Footballers with Swiss and British citizenship are equivalent to EU citizens in all respects. These provisions will apply with reference to the 2023/2024 football season,” the FIGC noted in a statement.

The recent decision has been welcomed by football clubs in Italy, such as Juve FC.

“This development comes as a major boost for Juve and other Italian clubs, as Swiss and English players are some of the most exciting in Europe. We also can now freely compete for some of the best talents in the Premier League, as AC Milan has done in this transfer window,” Juve FC pointed out in a statement.

When the UK was part of the EU, citizens of both territories were subject to the same rules; however, now they are subject to specific changes.

Citizens of the UK planning to travel to EU countries are now eligible to do so visa-free for up to three months; however, before, they were eligible to stay anywhere in the EU indefinitely.

After Brexit, Britons are eligible to stay in the EU countries, as well as Norway and Switzerland, for up to 90 days in a 180-day period, but if they plan to make a longer than 90-day trip, they must apply for a visa at first.

At the same time, as of January 2021, citizens from European countries are subject to visas when planning to head to the UK, and such rules apply to footballers and managers, among others.

It means that English clubs no longer benefit from Europe’s free movement of labour, and instead, new criteria determine if a player can transfer to an English team.

The process can be split into two stages: obtaining an endorsement and acquiring a visa.

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