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That pesky UK Work Permit Law

Today, Josh Wolff became the latest victim of what seems to be blatant discrimination by the UK authorities against American soccer players. Wolff joins an illustrious list of American players including Cobi Jones, the most capped player in US history in being rejected by a work permit to play in the UK. Thus Wolff’s move from MLS to Derby County, the former club of John Harkes has been killed.

The same way the UK once tried to keep immigrants from third world commonwealth member nations away (most notably Pakistan), the UK home office seems determined to stop the influx of American soccer players to in some way assert the superiority and purity of the English game. (as if a few American soccer players could really threaten the world stature of English soccer) . Even Brad Friedel and Bobby Convey who have gone on to have excellent careers in England were rejected in earlier attempts to secure employment in England, and it seems the snobbishness of English football is to blame for all this trouble. The official explanation from the UK office is that Wolff played in an insufficient number of internationals over the past few years but considering he has played in the last two world cups, isn’t that argument just plain dumb?

Wolff will remain with the KC Wizards of MLS and sadly his dream of playing in English Football is probably dead. What a pity.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC. View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →
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2 Responses to That pesky UK Work Permit Law

  1. hugo perez says:

    This is an absolute travesty!

    Bruce Arena did Wolff a favor by including him on the roster for WC06. I guess he should have gotten him into a few more games…….

  2. Xavier says:

    This has been going on for years and years and is outright bias against American and Latin players. Too bad for Josh Wolff. At 29, he’s never going to get another shot at playing in England.

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