As the British government significantly eased the criteria for work permits (work permit) for overseas players, the way for Korean players playing in European leagues and domestic leagues to advance to England has been wide open.

The British Football Association (FA) said on the 14th (local time), “The Ministry of Home Affairs has approved a new Government Body Endorsment (GBE) standard for international player visas, which will be valid from the start of the transfer market in June (June 14). While most of the key point-based systems remain the same, the FA has designed a new solution that provides additional access (transfer) to outstanding ‘talent’ abroad that currently deviates from the GBE criteria. We have designed a progressive solution to create a new model that can meet the various goals of soccer stakeholders,” it announced.

“With this change, clubs in the English league can recruit multiple players who do not currently meet the points requirements,” the FA said. Up to four players can participate in the Premier League (Part 1) and Championship (Part 2) teams, and up to two players can participate in League 1 (Part 3) and League 2 (Part 4) teams. The solution is to support both the development of England’s own players and the club’s recruitment of overseas players, he said, adding that the number of players recruited from abroad can be increased in the future by analyzing the impact of changes in the GBE system.

Until now, it has been evaluated that it is difficult for even national team players to win the British Work Permit. The existing Work Permit had to earn a certain score based on its original team (KFA FIFA ranking) and its league level (last season’s final ranking) 안전놀이터 (the player’s league playing time ratio, the player’s intercontinental tournament participation time), and the national team’s experience (intercontinental tournament performance, intercontinental tournament). He had to play more than a certain level of matches for A in the top 50 FIFA rankings. FIFA rankings are more than 30% for 1st to 10th places, 45% for 11th to 20th places, 60% for 21st to 30th places, and 75% for 31st to 50th places.

Park Ji-sung, the current Jeonbuk technical director, was eliminated from the first round of screening when he joined Manchester United in 2005. This is because it failed to comply with the EPL work permit issuance requirement, “75% participation in A matches (national competitions) over the past two years.” Alex Ferguson, then head coach of Manchester United, attended the British immigration review committee in person and made a club-level guarantee to recruit him.

As such, it was not easy to advance to the Premier League unless “the national team playing as a starting player in the big league.” The bottom teams of the EPL had a hard time supplying promising players and cost-effective players due to Brexit. Promising players from Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa headed to rival leagues such as Italy, France, and Spain.

The new GBE standard is expected to lower entry barriers to advance to the Premier League or Championship. From England’s point of view, Korean prospects playing in the K-League, which is on the periphery, also deserve to seek to advance to England. It is estimated that these new work commit standards may have played a role in the confirmation of Kim Ji-soo, who plays in the semifinals of the U-20 World Cup in Seongnam, to join Premier League club Brentford (only reported on June 15th of Sports Chosun). Kim Ji-soo has no experience in the national team, and he has only played one league game this season.

Active national team players such as Cho Kyu-sung (Jeonbuk), who announced their re-entry into Europe this summer, are likely to go straight to England without going through the surrounding leagues.

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