Picture of Wembley Stadium

FA should resist Januzaj temptation

The international tug of war continues between nations eager for Adnan Januzaj to pledge his allegiance in their favour.  The 18-year-old is currently available to play for Albania, Belgium, Turkey and Serbia.  He could also play for England from 2018 under current Fifa rules that require players to have five years of permanent residency in the country in order to play for the national team. 

Today Kosovo stated their desire for his commitment, inviting him to play in an unofficial friendly match against Haiti.  Although the region has declared itself an independent state, Kosovo is not recognised as a nation by many countries and cannot participate in Fifa-recognised international fixtures.  

Consequently, representing Kosovo would not preclude him from being capped by England at a later stage.  Nevertheless, the FA should rule out selecting Januzaj in the future.  Waiting for players to become eligible to play for a national team, while completely legal, is exploiting an ethically questionable loophole.  It may be common practice in sports such as cricket and rugby, but as the arbiter of the national sport, the FA should take a firmer stance on the issue.   

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