FIFA eligibility rules

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As the governing body of association football, FIFA is responsible for maintaining and implementing the rules that determine whether an association football player is eligible to represent a particular country in officially recognised international competitions and friendly matches. In the 20th century, FIFA allowed a player to represent any national team, as long as the player held citizenship of that country. In 2004, in reaction to the growing trend towards naturalisation of foreign players in some countries, FIFA implemented a significant new ruling that requires a player to demonstrate a "clear connection" to any country they wish to represent. FIFA has used its authority to overturn results of competitive international matches that feature ineligible players.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

FIFA International governing body of association football

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association is a non-profit organization which describes itself as an international governing body of association football, fútsal, beach soccer, and efootball. It is the highest governing body of football.

Contents

History

Ferenc Puskas represented both Hungary (85 caps) and Spain (4 caps) Puskasreal.jpg
Ferenc Puskás represented both Hungary (85 caps) and Spain (4 caps)

Historically, it was possible for players to play for different national teams. For example, Alfredo Di Stéfano played for Argentina (1947) and Spain (1957–61). [1]

Alfredo Di Stéfano Argentine professional footballer

Alfredo Stéfano Di Stéfano Laulhé was an Argentine professional footballer and coach. He is regarded as one of the best footballers of all time, and is best known for his achievements with Real Madrid, where he was instrumental in the club's domination of the European Cup and La Liga during the 1950s. Along with Francisco Gento and José María Zárraga, he was one of only three players to play a part in all five victories, scoring goals in each of the five finals. Di Stéfano played international football mostly for Spain after moving to Madrid, but he also played for Argentina and Colombia.

Argentina national football team mens national association football team representing Argentina

The Argentina national football team represents Argentine Football Association in tournaments CONMEBOL/FIFA. Argentina's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti in Buenos Aires.

Spain national football team National association football team representing Spain

The Spain national football team has represented Spain in international men's football competition since 1920. It is governed by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain.

Di Stefano's Real Madrid teammate Ferenc Puskás also played for Spain after amassing 85 caps for Hungary earlier in his career. [2] [3] A third high-profile instance of a player switching international football nationalities is Jose Altafini, who played for Brazil in the 1958 FIFA World Cup and for Italy in the subsequent 1962 FIFA World Cup. [4] [5]

Ferenc Puskás Hungarian-Spanish association football player

Ferenc Puskás was a Hungarian footballer and manager, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. He is the son of former footballer Ferenc Puskás Senior. A prolific forward, he scored 84 goals in 85 international matches for Hungary, played 4 international matches for Spain and scored 514 goals in 529 matches in the Hungarian and Spanish leagues. He became an Olympic champion in 1952 and led his nation to the final of the 1954 World Cup where he was named the tournament's best player. He won three European Cups, 10 national championships and 8 top individual scoring honors. In 1995, he was recognized as the top scorer of the 20th century by the IFFHS.

Cap (sport) Term for a players appearance in a game at international level

In sport, a cap is a metaphorical term for a player's appearance in a game at international level. The term dates from the practice in the United Kingdom of awarding a cap to every player in an international match of association football. In the early days of football, the concept of each team wearing a set of matching shirts had not been universally adopted, so each side would distinguish itself from the other by wearing a specific sort of cap.

The Hungary national football team represents Hungary in international football and is controlled by the Hungarian Football Federation.

Other 20th-century examples of players representing two or three separate countries are:

Joseph Edouard Gaetjens was a Haitian soccer player who played for the United States national team in the 1950 FIFA World Cup, scoring the winning goal in the 1–0 upset of England. He also played one match for Haiti in a World Cup qualifier against Mexico.

United States mens national soccer team Mens national association football team representing the USA

The United States men's national soccer team (USMNT) represents the United States of America in international football competition. The team is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and a member of FIFA and Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football.

The Haiti national football team represents Haiti in international football. Haiti is administered by the Fédération Haïtienne de Football (FHF), the governing body for football in Haiti. They have been a member of FIFA since 1934, a member of CONCACAF since 1961 and a member of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) since 1978. Haiti's home ground is Stade Sylvio Cator in Port-au-Prince and their head coach was Patrice Neveu, until December 2016.

This does not include the hundreds of players whose teams were affected by changes to geopolitical borders e.g. East Germany/Germany, Soviet Union/Ukraine, Yugoslavia/Croatia.

East Germany national football team former mens national association football team representing East Germany

The East Germany national football team, recognized as Germany DR by FIFA, was from 1952 to 1990 the football team of East Germany, playing as one of three post-war German teams, along with Saarland and West Germany.

Germany national football team mens national association football team representing Germany

The Germany national football team is the men's football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association, founded in 1900. Ever since the DFB was reinaugurated in 1949 the team has represented the Federal Republic of Germany. Under Allied occupation and division, two other separate national teams were also recognised by FIFA: the Saarland team representing the Saarland (1950–1956) and the East German team representing the German Democratic Republic (1952–1990). Both have been absorbed along with their records by the current national team. The official name and code "Germany FR (FRG)" was shortened to "Germany (GER)" following the reunification in 1990.

Soviet Union national football team Former mens national association football team representing the Soviet Union

The Soviet Union national football team was the national football team of the Soviet Union.

Furthermore, some international players have played for another FIFA-recognised country in unofficial international matches, i.e. fixtures not recognised by FIFA as full internationals. This category includes:

Daniel Brailovsky Argentine footballer

Daniel Alberto Brailovsky Poliak is an Argentine-born Israeli former footballer and manager.

Uruguay national football team mens national association football team representing Uruguay

The Uruguay national football team represents Uruguay in international association football and is controlled by the Uruguayan Football Association, the governing body for football in Uruguay. The current head coach is Óscar Tabárez. The Uruguayan team is commonly referred to as La Celeste . They have won the Copa América 15 times, the most successful national team in the tournament, the most recent title being the 2011 edition. The team has won the FIFA World Cup twice, including the first World Cup in 1930 as hosts, defeating Argentina 4–2 in the final. They won their second title in 1950, upsetting host Brazil 2–1 in the final match, which received an attendance higher than any football match ever.

Israel national football team mens national association football team representing Israel

The Israel national football team represents Israel in international football, and is governed by the Israel Football Association (IFA).

Modern changes

Sone Aluko originally represented England at youth international level, before going on to represent Nigeria at senior international level Sone Aluko 1.png
Sone Aluko originally represented England at youth international level, before going on to represent Nigeria at senior international level

In January 2004, a new ruling came into effect that permitted a player to represent one country at youth international level and another at senior international level, provided that the player applied before their 21st birthday. [9] The first player to do so was Antar Yahia, who played for the France under-18s before representing Algeria in qualifiers for the 2004 Olympic Games. [10] More recent examples include Sone Aluko, who has caps for the England under-19s and Nigeria, [11] and Andrew Driver, a former England under-21 representative who is committed to the Scotland national team. [12]

In March 2004, FIFA amended its wider policy on international eligibility. This was reported to be in response to a growing trend in some countries, such as Qatar and Togo, to naturalise players born and raised in Brazil (and elsewhere) that have no apparent ancestral links to their new country of citizenship. [13]

An emergency FIFA committee ruling judged that players must be able to demonstrate a "clear connection" to a country that they had not been born in but wished to represent. This ruling explicitly stated that, in such scenarios, the player must have at least one parent or grandparent who was born in that country, or the player must have been resident in that country for at least two years. [13]

Togo's registration of naturalised players born and raised in Brazil reportedly influenced FIFA's decision to amend eligibility rules in 2004. Togo-nationalmannschaft.jpg
Togo's registration of naturalised players born and raised in Brazil reportedly influenced FIFA's decision to amend eligibility rules in 2004.

In November 2007, FIFA President Sepp Blatter told the BBC: "If we don't stop this farce, if we don't take care about the invaders from Brazil towards Europe, Asia and Africa then, in the 2014 or the 2018 World Cup, out of the 32 teams you will have 16 full of Brazilian players." [14]

The residency requirement for players lacking birth or ancestral connections with a specific country was extended from two to five years in May 2008 at FIFA's Congress as part of Blatter's efforts to preserve the integrity of competitions involving national teams. [15]

The relevant current FIFA statute, Article 7: Acquisition of a new nationality, states: [16]

Any player who refers to art. 5 par. 1 [note 1] to assumes a new nationality and who has not played international football [in a match (either in full or in part) in an official competition of any category or any type of football] shall be eligible to play for the new representative team only if he fulfils one of the following conditions:

a) He was born on the territory of the relevant association;
b) His biological mother or biological father was born on the territory of the relevant association;
c) His grandmother or grandfather was born on the territory of the relevant association;

d) He has lived continuously for at least five years after reaching the age of 18 on the territory of the relevant association.

FIFA.com
Diego Costa played two friendlies for Brazil in 2013, before switching allegiances to Spain Diego Costa 2014.jpg
Diego Costa played two friendlies for Brazil in 2013, before switching allegiances to Spain

Under the criteria generally, it is possible for a player to have a choice of representing several national teams. It is not uncommon for national team managers and scouts to attempt to persuade players to change their FIFA nationality; in June 2011, for example, Scotland manager Craig Levein confirmed that his colleagues had started a dialogue with United States under-17 international Jack McBean in an attempt to persuade him to represent Scotland in the future. [17] Gareth Bale was asked about a possibility to play for England, being of English descent through his grandmother, but ultimately opted to represent Wales, his country of birth. [18]

In June 2009, FIFA Congress passed a motion that removed the age limit for players who had already played for a country's national team at youth level to change national associations. This ruling features in Article 18 of the Regulations Governing the Application of the FIFA Statutes. [9]

Friendly match appearances do not commit a player to one country; Jermaine Jones played several friendlies for Germany but made his debut for the United States in 2010. [19] Thiago Motta had three caps for Brazil in matches deemed friendlies for Brazil (participation in the CONCACAF Gold Cup as a non-conference guest team) and went on to represent Italy for five years. [20] Diego Costa represented Brazil in two friendlies [21] [22] before switching his allegiances to Spain in 2013, [23] [24] going on to represent the latter at the 2014 and 2018 FIFA World Cups. Apostolos Giannou represented Greece in a friendly in 2015, [25] before switching his allegiances to Australia, making his debut for the latter in March 2016. [26] A FIFA Player's Status Committee is responsible for making such judgements. [16]

Penalties for playing ineligible players

Syria were expelled from the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification process by FIFA in 2011, for fielding George Mourad in a senior qualification match against Tajikistan George Mourad1.jpg
Syria were expelled from the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification process by FIFA in 2011, for fielding George Mourad in a senior qualification match against Tajikistan

FIFA takes punitive action against teams that field ineligible players. In August 2011, FIFA expelled Syria from the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification process following the appearance of George Mourad in a senior qualification match against Tajikistan. Mourad had made friendly match appearances for Sweden earlier in his career, but had not requested permission from FIFA to change national associations before playing for Syria. [27]

At the men's football tournament at the 2015 Pacific Games, which also determines the 2016 Oceania Olympic Football qualifier, Deklan Wynne, who was born in South Africa and raised in New Zealand from early childhood, played in the semi-final for New Zealand, who won the match 3–0. After the game, a protest was lodged by their opponents Vanuatu, on the basis that Wynne was not an eligible player. As Wynne was 20 years old, it was impossible for him to have already lived in New Zealand for five years after the age of 18. This protest was upheld by the Oceania Football Confederation, resulting in New Zealand being disqualified and Vanuatu taking their place in the final. [28]

During the 2018 World Cup qualifiers Bolivia fielded Paraguayan born Nelson David Cabrera (who had also played for Paraguay) in two matches—against Peru on 1 September 2016 (the match was won 2–0 by Bolivia) and against Chile on 6 September 2016 (the match finished in a scoreless draw). Cabrera was subsequently found to be ineligible by FIFA, which resulted in the awarding of 3–0 wins for Bolivia's opponents, affecting the final standings in the table and contributing to Peru's qualification for the World Cup at the expense of Chile. [29]

Nations that share a common nationality

There are 25 FIFA member associations that share a common nationality with at least one other FIFA member association. [30]

In these instances, under Article 6.1 of the Regulations Governing the Applications of Statutes, FIFA Statutes, (Nationality entitling Players to represent more than one Association), if a player was not born in the member associations' territory and does not have a parental or grand-parental blood relative that were born in the territory, the player is able to represent another member association that shares the same common nationality after two years residency.[ citation needed ]

U.S. nationalityFlag of American Samoa.svg  American Samoa Flag of Guam.svg  Guam Flag of Puerto Rico.svg  Puerto Rico
Flag of the United States.svg  United States Flag of the United States Virgin Islands.svg  U.S. Virgin Islands
British nationality [nb 1] Flag of Anguilla.svg  Anguilla Flag of Bermuda.svg  Bermuda Flag of the British Virgin Islands.svg  British Virgin Islands
Flag of the Cayman Islands.svg  Cayman Islands Flag of England.svg  England Flag of Gibraltar.svg  Gibraltar
Flag of Montserrat.svg  Montserrat Ulster Banner.svg  Northern Ireland Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
Flag of the Turks and Caicos Islands.svg  Turks and Caicos Islands Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
Chinese nationalityFlag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR Flag of Hong Kong.svg  Hong Kong Flag of Macau.svg  Macau
Danish nationalityFlag of Denmark.svg  Denmark Flag of the Faroe Islands.svg  Faroe Islands
French nationalityFlag of France.svg  France Flag of French Polynesia.svg  Tahiti New Caledonia flags merged (2017).svg  New Caledonia
Dutch nationalityFlag of Aruba.svg  Aruba Flag of Curacao.svg  Curaçao Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands
NZ nationalityFlag of the Cook Islands.svg  Cook Islands Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
Notes
  1. The exception to this are the 'Four British Associations' of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Together the four associations have decided that they do not want to offer eligibility to represent their national team after two years residency to otherwise-ineligible British players. (see Home nations 2009 agreement)

Home nations agreement

Due to the United Kingdom's position in world football as a sovereign state that has four national teams, there has been a series of additional agreements between national football associations of the United Kingdom; England (FA), Scotland (SFA), Wales (FAW) and Northern Ireland (IFA). The latest agreement came in 2010 and was ratified by FIFA. [31]

In 1990, Nigel Spackman wanted to be called up by Scotland during his time at Rangers F.C. through his Scottish grandfather. However at the time, the four British Associations did not choose to accept players without parents pertaining to the nation. [32] The Herald reported that "until recently that would have been enough to give him qualification to play for Scotland. But under an agreement by the four home associations it is not enough any more."

Foreign-born British nationals

The agreement is often erroneously thought to be a response to cases similar to Maik Taylor, who was born in Germany to an English father and chose to represent Northern Ireland at international level despite having no ties to the nation. Taylor was called up to Northern Ireland in 1998, five years after the 1993 (gentlemen's) agreement was in place. The agreement was not applied when Taylor was called up by the IFA, possibly because in his case, neither the FA, SFA nor FAW was interested in capping him, unlike eg David Johnson (below) and so raised no objection. [ citation needed ]

Taylor was eligible to play for Northern Ireland due to FIFA regulations allowing him to. The relevant statute of the time read: "Any player who is a naturalised citizen of a country in virtue of that country’s laws shall be eligible to play for a national or representative team of that country." As there is no United Kingdom national team, he was eligible to choose a "representative team of the country" and opted for Northern Ireland. Players in the same situation today would only be allowed to represent the territory of their (grand)parent's birthplace as the clause has been amended to refer to the Football Association's "territory" and not "country". [ citation needed ]

1993 agreement

The four associations met on 27 February 1993 at Hanbury Manor in Hertfordshire. The Scottish Football Association (SFA) released minutes from the meeting to the press.

On the occasion of the meeting of the International Football Association Board on February 27, 1993 the four British associations ratified the following agreement, which came into force on February 1, 1993, on the criteria which should determine the eligibility of the player to be selected for one of the national teams of the British associations:

  1. His country of birth.
  2. The country of birth of his natural mother or father.
  3. The country of birth of his natural grandmother or grandfather.
  4. Where the player, both natural parents, and both natural grandparents are born outside the UK, but the player is the holder of a current British passport, he may play for the country of his choice." [33]
    Scottish Football Association

David Johnson was a Jamaican international who had played four games for the Caribbean nation; his most recent game was a friendly against United States on 9 September 1999. He had previously played for the England B team and had been an unused substitute for the England under-21s. In late September 1999, the Ipswich Town forward was called up by Wales (and withdrew from the squad due to injury) and later Scotland. The Welsh and Scottish FAs believed he was eligible to play for them. [33] Johnson was a Jamaican immigrant who was raised by foster parents in England, and he believed he could choose which UK nation to represent; the (English) Football Association (FA) had advised the player's agent that the international change of allegiance could go ahead. [34]

However, the SFA discovered that as he had an English mother, he was not able to represent any Home nation other than England as a result. [33] The SFA had chosen to abide by the agreement; unlike the Irish Football Association (IFA), who in addition to courting David Johnson had capped Germany-born Maik Taylor the previous year. Taylor was in the same situation as Johnson: he was born outside of the UK with one English parent. The Herald reported that "It is important to highlight, that under the agreement signed by the four British associations, the UK passport clause is only operative in the event that the player, his natural mother and father and his natural grandparents, are all born outside the United Kingdom". [34]

A Football Association of Wales (FAW) spokesman Cerri Stennett said that they were "extremely puzzled by this development" and they thought "he was eligible to play for any of the four home countries and that's why Lawrie McMenemy wanted him for Northern Ireland as well." Stennett stated that FIFA gave clearance to Johnson switch allegiance to Wales' national squad and "he was on the substitute's bench for a match." [35]

Speaking in January 2000, Craig Brown clarified issues. "I was told by FIFA that David Johnson was totally eligible and twice I called his club manager George Burley and he told me he was totally eligible. But I was assuming that FIFA were aware of our home countries agreement and apparently they weren't. I did not think I could get any higher authority than FIFA so if we play David Johnson tomorrow they would not complain and if we played him at Wembley, there would not have been a problem with FIFA. But there was the agreement with the four nations." [36]

Under Lawrie McMenemy's stewardship, Northern Ireland went through a phase of trying to call up players who had no links to a UK nation, Northern Ireland attempted to call up Germany-born Maik Taylor, Nigeria-born Dele Adebola and Jamaica-born David Johnson. McMenemy's successor Sammy McIlroy was not pleased with his predecessor's policy, upon being appointed as Northern Ireland manager he said: "It's farcical chasing players with absolutely no connection to our country." [37]

Former FA executive David Davies confirmed that England had once considered calling up Italian Carlo Cudicini, [38] Brazilian Edu and Frenchmen Steed Malbranque and Louis Saha during Sven-Göran Eriksson's time as England manager. [39]

In February 2004, there was a lot of media speculation in Scotland about the possibility of Frenchman Didier Agathe and Italian Lorenzo Amoruso playing for Scotland. Berti Vogts, the German head coach of Scotland, appeared to be in favour of fielding the players. Scotland's playing captain Christian Dailly felt differently, telling the Daily Record newspaper that "I don't care if they call in Zinedine Zidane. I would rather lose with a team of Scots than win with a team of foreigners. This is not a club side we're talking about it's SCOTLAND...I know the players will definitely be against it". [40]

Ahead of a meeting with the other home associations, SFA executive David Taylor urged caution ahead of calls to opt out of the agreement. He said "We have to watch it does not become a free-for-all with the home countries trying to get the best players available," "It goes to the heart of why we exist as a separate country and could force people into asking why we do not have a UK football team." [41] On 1 March 2004, the four British associations voted to retain the agreement. [42]

2006 agreement

In January 2006, Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez had his hopes of bringing in players born outside Northern Ireland – but who held a British passport – dashed. Irish FA chiefs told Sanchez he could only select players who have a history with Northern Ireland. Sanchez spoke of his frustration with the rule: "I must stick by the British agreement which says that you shouldn't approach a player unless he has family ties with that particular country.

"It's frustrating but my job is to manage the Northern Ireland international team and theirs (the Irish FA) is to make policy.

"I must continue to work with the players I have and I'm very happy to do that. [43]

The wording of the agreement was adjusted and published by FIFA in December 2006: [30]

3. British associations

  1. There is a specific agreement, stipulating the conditions to play for a national team, for the four British associations134. Besides having British nationality, the player needs to fulfil at least one of the following conditions
    a) he was born on the territory of the relevant association;
    b) his biological mother or father was born on the territory of the relevant association;
    c) his grandmother or grandfather was born on the territory of the relevant association.
  2. If a player has a British passport, but no territorial relationship as provided for in conditions a-c above, he can choose for which of the British associations he wants to play135.

134 England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
135 e.g. a player who was born on the Cayman Islands and holds British nationality

In October 2008, Spanish striker Nacho Novo said that he would apply for a British passport if it meant he'd become eligible to play for Scotland. The SFA stated that he would not be eligible as they would abide by the agreement. [44]

2009 agreement

The agreement was completely revised in 2009 following a rewrite of the FIFA statutes in 2008. The loophole regarding British players born abroad and selecting a national team had been closed and then reopened. The revised ruling also removed the possibility of ineligibility due to a foreign-born adopted player having no parental or grand-parental links to a nation, as it is based on where the player is educated before the age of 18. [ citation needed ]

Removal of residency clause

The home nations have agreed to remove a clause that enables players to gain eligibility for one of the eight national teams due to residency. The FIFA statutes state that "Associations sharing a common nationality may make an agreement under which item (d) of par. 1 of this article is deleted completely or amended to specify a longer time limit". The clause removed is:

(d) He has lived continuously on the territory of the relevant Association for at least two years

FIFA Statutes (April 2016 edition) [16]

If the home nations' associations had chosen not to remove or alter the 'd' clause and instead use the default FIFA statute clauses, players with a home nation nationality would be able to transfer to a club in another home nation and be eligible for that national team after a period of two years (providing they have not been capped or played in an official competition for a nation).

The education clause

In February 2009, the Scottish FA's Gordon Smith put forward a proposal that would allow players educated in the FA's territory who otherwise had no blood connections to the nation to become eligible to represent the nation. [45] The rule was ratified by FIFA in October 2009. [46]

In June 2010, FIFA approved a minor rewording of the criteria. [31] The introduction of the new clause allows a player to gain eligibility for a British national team if he receives five years of education in the territory of the relevant association:

d) He has engaged in a minimum of five years education under the age of 18 within the territory of the relevant association.

Home nations agreement

As a direct result of the clause change, England-born Andrew Driver became eligible to play for the Scotland national team in June 2012. Driver was initially only eligible to represent England's national team despite living in Scotland since the age of 11. [47] Andy Dorman, who had previously been ineligible for Wales despite living in Hawarden for most of life became eligible to represent Wales. He was called up in November 2009 and made his début for Wales on 23 May 2010 against Montenegro at the Stadion Gradski. [48]

The criteria for eligibility to represent a home nation is:

  1. A Player who, under the terms of art. 5, is eligible to represent more than one Association on account of his nationality, may play in an international match for one of these Associations only if, in addition to having the relevant nationality, he fulfils at least one of the following conditions:
    a) He was born on the territory of the relevant Association;
    b) His biological mother or biological father was born on the territory of the relevant Association;
    c) One of his biological grandparents was born on the territory of the relevant Association;
    d) He has engaged in a minimum of five years education under the age of 18 within the territory of the relevant association.
    Home nations agreement

In July 2012, the Football Association of Wales confirmed that Swansea City F.C.'s Spanish defender Àngel Rangel is not eligible to represent Wales due to the agreement. [49]

Northern Ireland

Players born in Northern Ireland have a right by birth to Irish and British citizenship which entitles them to be selected for the representative teams of the Irish Football Association (IFA - Northern Ireland) as well as of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI - Republic of Ireland). In contrast, players born in the Republic of Ireland do not have such dual nationality from birth and, as a consequence, are confined to playing for the teams of the FAI and cannot play for Northern Ireland unless they have a parent or grandparent who was born there. [ citation needed ]

Players otherwise eligible for Northern Ireland do not need a UK passport if they have an Irish passport. [50] A 2006 FIFA decision to require a UK passport was reversed after a month of IFA protests, with intervention from Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland Secretary, and Dermot Ahern, the Republic's Minister for Foreign Affairs. [51] [50]

3. REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE STATUS AND TRANSFER OF PLAYERS

In this connection, two points were raised from the national associations of Belgium and Northern Ireland: (…)

b) Irish Football Association (Northern Ireland)

The Committee considered this association’s statement that almost any player can obtain a Republic of Ireland passport in order to secure eligibility to play for this country.

The Committee discussed this very serious matter at length and had to come to the unfortunate conclusion that FIFA cannot interfere with the decisions taken by any country in the question of granting passports.

The only way that the national associations could prevent their nationals from being systematically granted passports by another country to enable them to play for its national teams would be to field them in an official match for one of their national representative teams, which would bind them to this particular association”

FIFA Players Status Committee, 17 May 1994 [52]

Daniel Kearns, who originally represented Northern Ireland at youth international level, chose to represent the Republic of Ireland, despite the fact he had not lived in the Republic of Ireland, and had no parents or grandparents from the Republic of Ireland, causing the Irish Football Association (IFA) to contest his decision. Daniel Kearns 30-05-2009 1.jpg
Daniel Kearns, who originally represented Northern Ireland at youth international level, chose to represent the Republic of Ireland, despite the fact he had not lived in the Republic of Ireland, and had no parents or grandparents from the Republic of Ireland, causing the Irish Football Association (IFA) to contest his decision.

In 2009, Daniel Kearns, who had represented Northern Ireland at youth level, declared for the Republic of Ireland. He was born in Belfast and his parents and grandparents were all from Northern Ireland. The IFA complained to FIFA that Kearns should be ineligible to represent the Republic of Ireland. FIFA responded: "As the FIFA Legal Committee understands it, the situation in Northern Ireland is such that all Northern Irish footballers could opt to play for your association teams, given that they have a birthright to an Irish passport. Evidently, the same is not applicable to the footballers of the Republic of Ireland, who do not have such a claim to a UK passport. This means that the [IFA] is exposed to a one-way situation, where players can choose to play for your association teams but the vice versa is not possible. This circumstance is rather unique and the FIFA Statutes and regulations do not provide for a solution". [52]

In 2007, the FIFA Legal Committee invited the FAI voluntarily to confine itself to selecting for its association teams Northern Irish players who meet one of the following requirements: a) the player was born in the Republic of Ireland, b) his biological mother or father was born in the Republic of Ireland, c) his grandmother or grandfather was born in the Republic of Ireland, or d) he has lived continuously, for at least two years, in the Republic of Ireland.

FIFA also proposed an agreement between the Irish FA and the Football Association of Ireland which read: [52]

(…) every player born on the territory of Northern Ireland, holding the UK nationality and being entitled to a passport of the Republic of Ireland or born on the territory of the Republic of Ireland and holding the Irish nationality could either play for the [FAI] or the [IFA], under the condition that all other relevant prerequisites pertaining to player’s eligibility for a specific Association team are fulfilled

FAI favoured the proposal, the IFA did not. Following the IFA's rejection, FIFA told the IFA that they had "concluded to adhere to the status quo". [52]

In 2010, the IFA challenged the FAI in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). [52] CAS concluded that the Irish FA "cannot reasonably claim that Mr Kearns’ situation is to be equated with shared nationality as provided under Article 16 or that he requests a changed of association from a starting point of a shared nationality. His situation, with respect to his Irish nationality, is not governed by Article 16, but by the general principle set forth by Article 15 par. 1 of the said Regulations. No further connection (as described by Article 16) has to exist between Mr Kearns and the Republic of Ireland to make him eligible to play for the FAI’s representative team." [52]

See also

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The Ireland national football team represented Ireland in association football from 1882 until 1950. It was organised by the Irish Football Association (IFA), and is the fourth oldest international team in the world. It mainly played in the British Home Championship against England, Scotland and Wales. Though often vying with Wales to avoid the wooden spoon, Ireland did win the Championship in 1914, and shared it with England and Scotland in 1903.

1949–50 British Home Championship was one of the most significant competitions of the British Home Championship football tournament. This year saw the competition doubling up as Group 1 in the qualifying rounds for the 1950 FIFA World Cup. It was the first time that either England, Wales, Scotland or Ireland (IFA) had entered a World Cup competition. It was also a significant moment in the history of Irish football as it was the last time that the (Northern) Irish Football Association entered a team featuring players born in both Northern Ireland and what is now the Republic of Ireland.

A national sports team is a team that represents a nation, rather than a particular club or region, in an international sport.

The 2001–02 season was Fulham F.C.'s 104th season of professional football and their first season in the Premier League. They were managed by Jean Tigana, who had also overseen their promotion from the First Division the previous season.

Herve Xavier Zengue Burkinabe footballer

Herve Xavier Zengue or simply Xavier is a Cameroonian football player who last played for FC Terek Grozny. He holds Burkinabe citizenship as he is married to a Burkinabe women.

The 2001–02 season was West Bromwich Albion's 106th season in The Football League. The team had lost in the playoff semi-final to Bolton Wanderers in 2000–01, meaning that they would be playing in the Football League First Division for the ninth consecutive season, their 33rd season in total at the second level of English football.

Great Britain Olympic football team national association football team

The Great Britain Olympic football team is the men's football team that represents the United Kingdom at the Summer Olympic Games. The team is organised by the English Football Association (FA) as the footballing representative of the British Olympic Association. The team only competes in the Olympic Games. In other international football tournaments, the Home Nations of the United Kingdom are represented by their own national teams, a situation which pre-dated the establishment of a GB team.

This article lists the results for the Wales national football team from 2000 through to 2019.

This article lists the results for the Wales national football team from the 1946 through to 1959.

During the 2001–02 season, Sunderland competed in the FA Premier League.

During the 1994–95 English football season, Crystal Palace competed in the FA Premier League.

Great Britain womens Olympic football team womens Olympic association football team representing the UK

The Great Britain women's Olympic football team represents the United Kingdom in the women's football tournament at the Olympic Games. Normally, no team represents the whole of the United Kingdom in women's football, as separate teams compete for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the World Cup and the European Championship.

The 1997–98 season was Fulham's 100th season in professional football. They played in the Second Division.

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Notes

  1. This states : "Any person holding a permanent nationality that is not dependent on residence in a certain country is eligible to play for the representative teams of the association of that country"