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Everton might have work permit issues with Belfodil

Target doesn’t quite meet the requirements laid down by the FA

Empoli FC v Parma FC - Serie A
Ishak Belfodil playing for Parma
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Everton could face an issue with the Football Association regarding a work permit for striker target Ishak Belfodil. The FA has put in new rules effective the beginning of 2016 for players from the non-EEA (European Economic Areas) regions and Belfodil being an Algerian international would come under those regulations.

There are reports that he also holds a French passport which then makes this conversation moot as France is part of the EEA. But, the FA regulations are not clear about dual citizenship, and only talks about current & senior affiliation which would be Algeria for Belfodil.

Previously, in order to qualify to play in the United Kingdom, a player would have to have played in at least 75% of their country’s senior international matches over the previous two years.

Per the new system in place, with Algeria being ranked 38th in the FIFA rankings (as of Dec 22nd, 2016), Belfodil is expected to have featured in at least 75% of his nation’s games over the last two years.

FA non-EEA playing requirements
Daniel Geey

The forward has played in only 13 of the nation’s last 19 games over the past 24 months, and that is only 68%. So from the letter of the law, he would be ineligible for a work permit to play in the Premier League for Everton.

However, there is an appeals process where it is very likely the club can push his credentials through as he has a total of 14 international caps with 2 goals since August 2013. Belfodil is a former France junior international and has played for Lyon in France, Bologna, Parma, Inter Milan and Livorno in Italy before his current stint at Standard Liege in Belgium where he has 9 goals in 21 games, including 3 in 5 Europa League games as well.