Cape Town - Britain became the first country to leave the European Union (EU) after a 52%-48% vote on Thursday, resulting in the resignation from United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron.
The referendum has British citizens voting to push back against the huge surge of immigrants flocking into the United Kingdom (UK). This will affect all British public life and sport is no exception.
Prior to the poll voting, English footballer David Beckham backed Britain to remain in the EU, as it has a brought in a positive influence of European players on European football.
"I grew up with a core group of young British players that included Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville Brothers," Beckham said in a statement.
"That team might have gone on to win trophies but we were a better and more successful team because of a Danish goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel, the leadership of an Irishman Roy Keane and the skill of a Frenchman in Eric Cantona."
Here are four ways how Britain leaving the EU will affect sport:
1. Kolpak/Cotonou agreement
Under the Kolpak ruling, cricket and rugby players from Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific Group of States were allowed to enjoy the same freedom similar to EU players.
Already we’ve seen several foreigners play in respected domestic leagues and even go on to represent England, including South African-born cricketers Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and Nick Compton.
Leaving the EU will negate the entire Kolpak ruling or in rugby Cotonou agreement, and result in future imports counting as foreign players.
2. The English Premier League (EPL)
According to the BBC, over 400 players across the UK’s four football federations (Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England) could lose their right to play within the league.
Players with EU passports are currently free to play in the UK, but leaving the referendum could result in ‘foreign’ players needing working permits, which could affect player transfers.
Football players from the 27 countries still in the union would need to meet the criteria with football clubs forced to pay more.
Clubs will be forced to also transform and rebalance their club will be needed upon the new change of rules that will come out.
3. German Bundesliga
Along with the EPL, the German football league will be heavily affected by the new ruling, as the Bundesliga's depends on Premier League money. Each season, players are regularly traded for millions of Euros each season, as the EPL has spent close to €220 million on players from the German league, as reported by the DW website.
This will make it difficult for the EPL, as it will be found much harder to sign other European countries.
4. Home-grown talent
There are positives with leaving the EU, as this forces British sports federations to focus and promote home-grown talent. This will help curb the influx of foreign players that have immigrated and represented British nations. However, this can pose a threat to other foreigners hoping to get international exposure and have tried to do so.
Since the announcement, three United Kingdom teams participating in the Euro 2016 will be due to give press conferences on Friday (June 24), as tweeted by AP journalist, Rob Harris.