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19-Sep-2020, 02:22 pm

New FIFA ruling gives more flexibility on switching international allegiance

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FIFAhas adjusted rules governing football players switching international associations afterapprovingamendments to the Regulations Governing the Application of the Statutes atthe organisation's70th Congress on Friday.

Prior to the adjusted rules, a player could only switch nationalities if they had only played in friendlies and not a single minute of any competitive fixture, whichincludedqualifiers and international tournaments.

Those rules have now been relaxed, allowing a player to change nationality as long as they haveonly featured in three international fixtures, including qualifiers - but not tournaments like the World Cup, must have been less than 21 years of age at the time of playingand can only switch after three years of no international activity.

The new rules outlined at the 70th FIFA Congressare now applicable if the player:

Sevilla forward Munir El Haddadi was one of the prominent figures who voiced his frustrationoverthe previous rule.

He was born in Spain to a Moroccan father and had representedLa Rojaonce, in a Euro 2016 qualifier against Northern Macedonia (previously FYR Macedonia) on September 8, 2014.

The following year, the former Barcelona player contacted FIFAabout his wish to change allegiance to Morocco. However, he was denied that privilege.

Still not satisfied, El Haddadi challenged FIFA’s ruling at the Court of Arbitration for Sports in April 2018, but it was also quashed at the apex court.

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