Ryo Miyaichi: who checks the passport. Oh no oh no oh no!!!

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By Tony Attwood

Arsenal have been using Ryo Miyaichi in their friendlies this season – and yet he does not appear to qualify to play in the UK.  So what’s going on?

The first possibility is that somehow during his time in the Netherlands he picked up a local passport, giving him EU status.  It would seem a very fast, fast track application, but you never know.

A second is that his great-grandmother touched down at Croydon Aerodrome (as the original main airport into Europe was called) and went into labour many years ago.  That might qualify him to play for England, and so would make him ok  to play here, even without a passport.  (That’s not a fantasy on my part – that’s how it works).

A third option is that there is an appeal pending on special talent issues and Mr Wenger needs to give the lad every opportunity to show off.

And the fourth option is that there is no EU passport and no hope of getting a permit and Mr Wenger knows the lad must go on loan, so he is showing him off to the world to ensure the right deal goes through.  That looks the most likely, but it is a real shame – it would be wonderful to have him in the team.

Take your pick since we don’t have the information, but here’s one very dispiriting bit of news.  The people who are going to decide Ryo’s future (if there is no grandmother connection and no Dutch passport) are Sir Hardly Anyone and his bunch of idiot cronies in the Football Association.

Until 2009 the job of seeing who might enter the UK to play football was controlled by the UK Immigration Service – part of the Home Office.  That is what you might expect in a country where immigration is a very sensitive political issue.  The UK has been a diverse country in terms of its population origins for many years – remember it is where Karl Marx came to work to write Das Kapital when he couldn’t work in freedom anywhere else in Europe – but there are many who would like to reverse this historic position.

But this is no longer the case – for reasons that will not become clear at this time, this vital function is now with Lord Cholomondley Chumley and pals whose international knowledge of world affairs and in-depth ability to grasp what is going on in football is revealed by the fact that that

a) the stupid idiots actually bid to hold the world cup, and claim (amazingly) that they didn’t know it was a rigged ballot

b) thought that as the results were about to come out they were actually going to win (and then only got one vote other than their own)

c) now know what the rest of the world knew all along – that Fifa is a bunch a money grabbing tossers – but still think that it is a good thing to be part of the show.

These are the guys who decide who plays and who doesn’t, and work permits for football are awarded on the basis of a points system and a committee of arbitration.

Even worse the FA’s power is about to be extended (I know it seems stupid, but that is what is going to happen).  At the end of this week it seems likely that the Parliamentary Enquiry into football will be released and it is being said that it recommends that a club licensing system should be introduced run by the Football Association.

I find it hard to grasp the utter and total insanity of this move.  The FA is on the edge of bankruptcy following the disasterous buidling of Wembley stadium.  It showed itself utterly incapable of doing anything remotely right in dealing with Fifa, and it is in charge of national football teams that manage to come home from every tournament covering any age and either sex in total disarray.  (Remember our return from the women’s world cup with the manager calling her own team “cowards”?)

At a time when there is mounting evidence that there is something seriously wrong with refereeing in the UK, as there is in much of the rest of Europe, what is needed is a strong body able to implement investigations and (if anything is shown to be wrong) reforms – and our government gives more power to the FA!

Meanwhile what of poor Ryo?   With the FA, and  its historic position concerning Arsenal, we can expect no help and no support.  It doesn’t look good for the young superstar.  Nor, come to that, for English football.

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36 Replies to “Ryo Miyaichi: who checks the passport. Oh no oh no oh no!!!”

  1. I think part of the reason he has played in friendlies is for the marketing opportunities (especially when they were in malaysia and china). yes hes japanese but I live in Hong Kong, and Park Ji Sung is a lot more popular than he should be because hes asian!

    i agree with the incomptencies of the FA though. You discuss the power of the FA, but i have read a few stories in the past year about how the Premier League has too much power (money) over the FA and the Championship etc. What are your views on that?

  2. Since Miyaichi has played in Holland, he basically has to have a visa there. I guess it isn’t that hard to get to London as a tourist, so you got his presence in training covered. We shall see by the Emirates Cup, if he stays it would most likely mean there is some kind of deal going on. But that’s still a lucky guess, I don’t actually know the rules that well.
    As for the foreign players rule in Britain, the problem is, theoretically it’s quite alright. Steady internationals get work permits on a daily basis, whether they play for Japan or Samoa. If they fail to feature in their national squads, it boils down to decisions by the people you mention, and it is a fact that leniency is not a virtue with them. I guess you could try to change the rules by, for instance, focusing on overall performance, so that non-internationals can get along if they play their local league regularly, and you could add to that a ratings system that would help you evaluate the relative class of the league in question. But for Miyaichi to be able to play for Arsenal now there would have to be a rule that allowed all players with experience in European leagues to bypass the regulations. Incidentally, this would also let Arsenal use Botelho. I don’t know if that’s the best option, but it seems more attuned to reality.

  3. thanks , very interesting indeed! The FA getting more powers truly unbelievable …

  4. What I’d like to know is why Ryo has been put in the first team list on Arsenal.com – one would assume this means next season he will not be on loan AND that he has been deemed too good for the reserves.

    At least one would if there had been any kind of announcement from the club to say his work permit has been granted.

    BUT – if it hasn’t then why put him on the list???

  5. The FA,they a getting more powers!! Fergie has to be celebrating as the penalties and would be penalties would be on the cards this time around. TONY how many usual suspects(Referees) do we have in our 3 opening matches.

  6. A comment has been posted in relation to the article about next season’s squad which says

    I believe Eboue is/was in the same boat but IIRC he’s now technically Belgian, as Almunia is technically English due to their wives.

    That is interesting… and I must admit to being very lacking in knowledge over the way this works, since as a UK citizen working in the UK I obviously never come near these things.

    But is it really true that Almunia becomes English by marrying an English woman? Isn’t it more correct to say that he gains right of residence because of such a marriage, and the right to apply to become a UK citizen after five years residence here.

    But maybe Ryo fancies marrying an English girl!

  7. Dalton: I defer on ref issues to Dogface and Walter. I’ll alert them to your request for information.

  8. Why is that arsenal players are the player who always have problem with their work permit?

  9. @Tony
    The low countries have very odd rules on who is and isn’t allowed to live and work there, Walter can probably explain better but it’s one of the reasons Beveren were able to field an all Côte d’Ivoire team.
    The passport issue is that normally the spouse of a native would be afforded most of the benefits (right to residence, right to employment) of their partner, except where there is a strong suspicion that the marriage is a sham to claim those rights.

  10. Almunia was being touted for an England cap as he had been domiciled in England for the British passport? Then of course the European Community and free entry to all with the relevant passports.

    How long ago did the former and unlamented Prime Minister Gordon Brown said “British jobs for British people”? Is why JET has to go to Ipswich???

  11. How comes Man U always get the visa’s for their players? But we seem to be always refused? Oh wait, I think I just answered my own question!

  12. Olis and Drew…

    I think there is a problem in the sense that we all tend to focus on Arsenal and Arsenal problems – but in reality other clubs get into difficulties. If you were a Man City supporter you might be saying, “why do we get the players with personality disorders”.

    If you were a fan of the Tiny Totts, apart from wondering why you have not won the league for 50 years you might also wonder about Modric and his desire to leave.

    If you were a Chelsea fan would you not be worrying about the lack of transfer activity?

    And if you were a QPR fan would you not be thinking, how could the joy of getting into the EPL dissipate so quickly?

    Or think of Blackpool and Wolverhampton last season being fined for putting out weakened teams.

    So I do think we all focus on our own issues, and forget that most teams have issues too. Even Man U, with the Rooney wanting to leave, there were problems for fans – and many were unhappy at the way he held the club to ransom when they are effectively broke.

    But it might be interesting to do a piece listing each club and the torment the supporters of each club current has. Maybe we can make it a collaborative effort.

  13. In terms of which ref will do our matches, Dogface tells me that we never know until one week before the games.

    Interestingly, however, the clubs do know some time in advance of that.


  14. Thanks Tony.Ha ha ha ha ha Walter i think he knows.I like though when we get to play the Manures early in the season because the chemistry is not that serious as later on.

  15. Was the title of the post a reference to the Fast Show skit:
    “Oh no Ono! O no o no o no Ono!”
    Very funny.

    I really really hope that somehow we get this little lads work permit.
    AFC do have friends as well. Some in Japan? Which is along way away from the FA’s sunny offices in Soho. But still, I’m optimistic.

  16. Tony, finsbury,
    I think all the “Ono” above is a secret reference to Yoko – after all, she is Japanese. And her late and sorely missed husband did give us the appropriate song for this (and many the) type of occasion: IMAGINE. So, in his spirit and honor and this timely article, a new verse might work: “Imagine there’s not Fifa, it’s not so hard to do…” with Love to Ryo.

  17. p.s. Naren,
    perhaps you could do a (Re)Imagine about the beautiful game and what it would take to get there. Poetry has a force that reasoned analysis doesn’t seem to. Cheers.

  18. The work permit system is a shambled. Celtic have just acquired a new player having taken a previous refusal to appeal. And from which footballing superpower does he hail? Japan – No. Argentina – No. The answer is Kenya – approx 150th in the FIFA rankings. Christ there are probably more sabre-tooth tigers in Kenya than footballers and they are an endangered species. When the Home Office subcontracted this duty out, in stepped the S.F.A. to assume this onerous responsibility. And which of these sporting giants are going to refuse a request from the Old Firm. Has Ryo’s forebears not got some Scottish roots?

  19. Naren,
    You know John Lennon’s anthem Imagine, right? Listen again. Those lyrics can be reworked and you might either stay within the structure and rhyme scheme, or go free-form from there – it’s up to you. So, you could play on the words for a better football/Arsenal future: just listen and substitute “Imagine there’s no Fifa…” for the various Imagines that John proposes.
    You’ll find words like “permit” and “passport” and “Miyachi” and “Ryo” will fit the meaning just fine. Anyway, I love your poetry and just put this one out for you to consider trying out some time.

  20. @Tony
    Your comment was incomplete – Maybe we should ask Fergie? 😉 who he has selected to referee our games!!

    As regards the FA being in charge of deciding Ryo’s status, it is almost certain that he will not be allowed yet. Only Man U choices are talented.

    Imagine all the referees living in the truth

    You may say I’m a dreamer and I’m not the only one!!

  21. I’m not absolutely certain, but I think Almunia’s wife is Spanish. His British passport (if he has one – Spain are EU of course) would be because of 5 year residency.

  22. menace,
    “…Until someday you join us,
    and all Gooners are one” (– or have won!, the alternate ending.)
    It’s an anthem-in-progress worth singing at the Emirates.
    Universal, healing, spot on, dontcha think?

  23. menace,
    “Imagine there’s no Bladder,
    it’s easy if you try.
    No Dowd or Webb among us,
    no yellow or red flag lies.”
    and on and on:
    “’til the Emirates sing as one” (OMG)

  24. @Bob scribble it down and post on Untolds facebook wall and share it with the Gooner groups. Could get the Emirates singing from the same hymn sheet.

  25. @Tony Since Campbell’s grandfather (or is it the grandmother)is Irish, does that allow him to play for the mighty Arsenal without a passport?

  26. @Tony Since Campbell’s grandfather (or is it the grandmother)is Irish, does that allow him to play for the mighty Arsenal without a passport?

  27. hey @bob smart, don’t knock kenya. and no sabre tooth tigers here but lots of lions. btw that cetic new boy is macdonald mariga’s brother. the one man city tried to buy but were denied a work permit. he eventually went to inter milan. our fifa ranking at the time was 90 something

  28. if you don’t mind Bob and Naren you can send a mail to my already known email address
    and then I will just pass it to the other person without anyone knowing it.
    But I’m on my holidays for the moment so not on-line all the time

    But I will only do this when both of you send a mail to me just to make sure you don’t have your address given to someone you don’t want

  29. About Ryo, I just wondered because in my country any team can play a “test player” in friendly games without any work permit issues I think. They just need to be legally in the country and the club has to have an insurance.
    So this could be the reason why Ryo is with Arsenal and playing with the first team.

  30. @Walter,
    As I understood it, Beveren were buying work permits for their players, just as Feyenoord bought one for Ryo. This is quite a common practice in lots of countries where companies may want to employ foreigners with special skills and is seen as yet another form of taxation. Obviously if you employ a ‘local’ you don’t pay the tax so everyone is happy…

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