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January 19, 2009

Japanese soccer players will need English language ability to play in the UK

Under new visa rules that will come into force in the autumn, non EU footballers will have to pass an English language test before they can play professionally in the UK. There are currently about 100 non-EU players in the Premier League and the number is much higher than this when all the UK professional leagues are taken into consideration.

The required English level is not particularly high, but the test does cover listening, speaking, reading and writing at a basic level. The general education of many players is often disrupted because of the need to train and develop soccer skills at a young age, so there is concern that the test may be too onerous for some.

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