New FIFA Rule : Southampton's Obafemi Can Switch Allegiance WEF 2021; Tomori, Abraham Ineligible
Published: September 19, 2020
New FIFA Rule : Southampton's Obafemi Can Switch Allegiance WEF 2021; Tomori, Abraham Ineligible
In a meeting by video conference on Friday, September 18, the FIFA Congress voted on an amendment relaxing the conditions for dual-eligible players to switch nationality, reports.

According to the new rules, players are no longer cap-tied to a country on the basis of playing only one official game for the national association when they were younger.

Players can switch national teams but only if they meet five conditions; playing not more than three games with their first national team; be under the age of 21 during their last match in an official competition; not being fielded for at least three years; have not played in the AFCON or World Cup; holding the nationality of an association they wish to represent prior to their debuts for their current associations.

Chelsea young stars Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori, who were heavily courted by the Nigerian Federation before playing competitively for England, will not benefit from the rule change as the striker has four caps for England while the central defender won his first senior cap roughly one month before his 22nd birthday.

The 20-year-old Southampton striker Michael Obafemi can apply for a change of association with effect from November 19, 2021 provided that he doesn't play three more games for the Republic of Ireland and does not earn an additional cap within the next one year.

Another 20-year-old player of Nigerian descent in Red Bull Salzburg winger Noah Okafor earned his only Switzerland cap to date in June 2019 but can switch association in 2022 if the status quo remains the same.

Ifeanyi Emmanuel

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