Monday, 2 June 2008

Tweaking of FIFA eligibility rules may indicate IFA victory

I’ve just downloaded a rather large file detailing eligibility criteria changes which were accepted by FIFA at their 58th Congress in Sidney last night. Ostensibly the new criteria offer a rather clearer perspective on the IFA / FAI row regarding northern born players being poached by the breakaway association. If I’m reading the new rules correctly, and if they are applied consistently, the IFA’s view would appear to have prevailed. Articles 15 and in particular 16 provide the relevant detail. The emphasis is mine.

16 Nationality entitling players to represent more than one Association

1 A player who under the terms of Art 15, is eligible to represent more than one Association …… 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) His grandmother or grandfather was born etc.

d) He has lived on the territory of the relevant association for at least two years without interruption.


At first inspection the rule could not be clearer. Whilst a Republic of Ireland passport satisfies Article 15 requirements, northern players need in addition to satisfy Article 16 in order to play for the FAI’s team. With both sides having declared victory before the IFA may want to be cautious on this one, but it’s hard to envisage how FIFA could wriggle out of this clear re-statement of its own rules in the Irish context.

6 comments:

Seamus said...

Chekov, AFAIK, that only comes into effect if their singular nationality enables them to represent more than one team, for example, holding British Nationality won't automatically enable players to represent England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, or holding Chinese nationality won't enable players to represent either Hong Kong, Taiwan or China. It has nothing to do with the the Irish situation as it we have dual nationality rather than a confusing singular one.

Chekov said...

Right Seamus. Nice of us to clarify your dual holding of British citizenship.

Seamus said...

I have never denied that I hold British citizenship, and here's one for you Chekov. You, Chekov, hold Irish citizenship. It is one of the fundamentals of the agreement. We can be either Irish or British or both, and in practical sense, hold both Irish and British citizenship.

Chekov said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chekov said...

Rubbish. We can identify ourselves as British, Irish or both, which I certainly do. There is certainly no automatic acquiral of ROI citizenship. I can choose to take up that dual citizenship as of right, but it is not conferred to me automatically as British citizenship is. Northern Ireland is in the UK, so UK citizenship law applies. ROI citizenship law is irrelevant unless people here choose to utilise it.

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