Indian Football came in top on signing foreign players in 2017 amongst all the other Asian countries. Indian clubs successfully signed 158 players in the 2017-18 season. One of the major reasons which led to this was the addition of two teams in the ISL – Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC and the fact that I-League, which runs parallelly to ISL, relaxed its rules and allowed clubs to register 6 foreign players in their squads instead of five.
China saw a drop of incoming players for the restriction imposed on the clubs as incoming transfer dropped 10.1% in 2017 while Thailand and Saudi Arabia have seen a huge increase in incoming transfer 26.5% and 32.9% respectively.
Following are the number of players signed and percentage increase or decrease of incoming transfer for all major Asian Countries in football for the 2017-18 season :-
India 158 (+32.8%)
Japan 152 (+18.8%)
China PR 143 (-10.1%)
Thailand 124 (+26.5%)
Saudi Arabia 113 (+32.9%)