Football

The eligibility debate rages on

Adnan Januzaj has been courted by The English Football Association (©GettyImages)
Adnan Januzaj has been courted by The English Football Association (©GettyImages).

The emergence of Manchester United starlet Adnan Januzaj has re-opened the debate and vast array of opinion regarding eligibility for international football.

Using England as a prime example of having a history of playing very few players not born in England.

Wilfried Zaha is one that springs to mind who was born in the Ivory Coast and has gone on to win a cap for the England National side, but his situation is one of very few and far between. 

It all depends on where you stand on national eligibility, I am a firm believer that you must have at least a link to the culture of the country you represent.

It is common place for players if not to play for their country of birth, to represent a country of their ancestors.

A good example of this would be Patrick Vieira who was born in Senegal but moved to France when he was 8 years old. He also had a French grandfather which made him Eligible to play for France from birth.

Portuguese international midfielder Deco is one player's situation that could resonate with Januzaj's.

Anderson Luís de Souza better known as Deco, who is Brazilian born, was made a Portuguese Citizen back in 2002 and went on to make 75 appearances for his adopted homeland.

There have been numerous times when English citizens have represented England or Great Britain in other sports - Mo Farah (Somalia), Kevin Pietersen (South Africa), Greg Rusedski (Canada) just to name a few.

And lest we not forget The English Football Association have already started this ball rolling when they appointed a foreign manager for the first time with Sven Goran Erikkson back in 2001.

But back to Januzaj who was born in Belgium to Kosovar-Albanian parents, so is eligible for Belgium, Kosovo (who currently are not recognised as a competitive nation by FIFA), Albania and also Turkey through his grandparents.

More often than not it is the case that players choose to represent their country of birth and with Belgium currently flying it would be no surprised to see Januzaj to be lining up for them in the near future.

There is no doubt that Januzaj is a talent, but he would not be eligible to represent England for another five years, so 2018.

Pursuing such a hope says a lot about the desperation of English football that they are using a lot of resources in this manner, when there are so many more pressing issues that need their attention.

The quota of coaches and the quality of coaching in this country is almost depressing to see as an England fan, not to mention the style of coaching.

Whilst other nations coach their youngsters to enjoy their football from a very young age, patterns of play are of paramount importance.

In contrast even now coaches of children as young as 10 are taught results are everything, winning at all costs and even winning ugly.

This as we well know has been the case for quite a while within the England set up.

It is not only enough to copy blueprints laid down by Spain and Germany, The FA need to think outside the box and for once be ahead of the game which they created. 

Jack Wilshere's comments only add fuel to the fire of this debate. 

This very has been met with condemnation from certain sections of the media.

You have to ask yourself would this even be an issue if as a nation England were not such repetitive underachievers.

One thing is for sure - this debate will only continue and the ball is in the court of the English FA.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
England Football

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