London, May 7 (UNI) Bad knowledge of English language may cost entry into Britain to foreign footballers even to the likes of Brazillian Ronaldinho.
This is an unconventional method to cut down 20,000 immigrants in Britain under a new points system.
Unless footballers such as Brazilian Ronaldinho and Argentine Lionel Messi can prove they speak good English they could be barred entry.
Ministers have decided sportsmen and women should not get special treatment under the new rules, Daily Mail reported.
It could spell the end of the invasion of extravagantly-paid sportsmen from South America and elsewhere.
Even in cases where foreign athletes do meet the criteria - speaking English, finding a willing employer and having enough cash to support themselves - they must secure approval from the sport's governing body.
It means that, in theory, the FA could block the entry of foreign players to prevent young British talent being forced out of the game.
Cricket, which imports many talented Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan players, and rugby will also feel the force of the new rules.
Immigration Minister Liam Byrne announced the scheme yesterday but opponents said it will have only a limited impact on the annual influx of 450,000 foreigners allowed to stay for 12 months or more.
The restrictions on non-EU workers are part of a long-promised Australianstyle points-based system, which replaces the old work permits regime.
UNI XC SZ VC1408