UAE asks Fifa to relax residency requirements

The UAE is asking football’s governing body Fifa to ease residency requirements for foreign players to boost its chances of competing with stronger Asian nations and qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

According to an amendment presented on Tuesday, the country is proposing that foreign-born players over the age of 18 can switch countries after living there for three years, rather than the current five. It also proposes a new clause stipulating that players under 18 can adopt a country’s national team after living there for five years.

The proposal is likely to have the support of other Middle Eastern countries that have struggled to qualify for the World Cup, but could be opposed by nations like Japan which has no need for foreign-born players.

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