The FIFA presents a wide group of modifications regarding eligibility to play for national teams. Changes that will take effect once the 70th FIFA Congress is held on September 18. Changes the journal has had access to SPORT and that respond to the needs proposed by the federations and that implies the inclusion of three other exceptions to the general prohibitions related to the change of federation

08/21/2020

On at 21:27

CEST

Changes that are included in the Regulations for the Application of Statutes where, in addition, what until now was called « Selection criteria » is now called « Eligibility to play with national teams ».

We must start from article 5 of said Regulation regarding the FIFA principles and which begins by recognizing that « Any person who possesses the permanent nationality of a country not linked to the place of residence may be eligible to play in the teams of the federation of said country. « . And that is the basis on which all these changes are made.

The reform document begins by remembering that a distinction must be made between possessing the nationality of a country and being able to obtain nationality. When applying the national legislation of a country, the player will possess his nationality if he was automatically granted nationality (by birth) without having the obligation to carry out any other administrative procedure or adopt the nationality of that country undergoing a naturalization process.

With the exception of the conditions stipulated in art. 89 of the aforementioned regulation, those players who have participated, either partially or totally, with a federation in an official competition match in any football categories or disciplines may not participate in an international match with the selection of another federation.

The great change in this article of principles comes in relation to those players who have « lived (…) in the territory of the federation » and a period of physical presence in the territory of said federation is understood. relevant provision, this period shall be defined in years, a period of physical presence which according to this FIFA update will not be interrupted by any of the following circumstances:

1.- Short absences abroad for personal reasons;
2.- Holidays abroad outside of the football season;
3.- Treatment or rehabilitation abroad due to injury or illness;
4.- Trips abroad due to football work activities.

If the period of physical presence will be considered interrupted and, therefore, the time accumulated up to that moment will be lost, provided that:

1.- Player is transferred to a club affiliated with another federation
2.- The player is absent from the country for reasons other than those provided in the previous section.

Furthermore, for a player to be eligible for nationality in another federation, « he must be physically in the federation’s territory for at least 183 days in a twelve-month period for it to be considered that » he has lived (…) in the territory ‘of said federation that year « .

The player must have lived five years in the period of the federation where he wants to play

The next change comes in relation to the nationalities that allow representing more than one federation. Here, any player who, due to his nationality, is eligible for more than one federation, may only defend one of them in an international match if, in addition to possessing the nationality in question, he meets at least one of the following conditions:

1.- The player was born in the territory of the federation;
2.- One of the biological parents of the player was born in the territory of the federation;
3.- One of his grandparents was born in the territory of the federation;

And the great change comes in point four where it goes from the two years that until now the regulation included to the « five uninterrupted years in the territory of the federation. »

Although this does not mean that those federations that share the same nationality can reach specific agreements by modifying the number of years. Agreements that must be ratified by FIFA.

Adoption of a new nationality

Any player who relies on the aforementioned article of principles to adopt a new nationality and who has not played any international match, may only be eligible to play in the teams of the new federation if he meets one of the following conditions: Being born in the territory of the federation; one of the biological parents of the player was born in the territory of the federation; one of his grandparents was born in the territory of the federation or the player has lived in the territory of the federation. And in this case, FIFA includes three new scenarios, nonexistent until now, until the five years established by the highest body:

1.- In the case of players who began to live in that territory before reaching their 10th birthday, it must be at least three years.
2.- In the case of players who began to live in that territory between the ages of 10 and 18, it will be at least five years;
3.- in the case of players who began to live in that territory after turning 18, also at least five years old.

The player who wants to take refuge in them must demonstrate that the transfer to the territory of the federation was not motivated by participation in their national teams; and submit to the Players’ Status Commission, through the relevant federation, an application for eligibility.

Stateless

It is another of the great novelties of the FIFA Statutes that is incorporated in an article that did not exist until now. This is how the figure of the stateless person collects, which are those cases where do not have any nationality and by virtue of the legislation in force in the country of your residence, you will never be granted the nationality of that country.

In this case, he may be declared eligible to play with the teams of the federation in question, he has always lived for at least five years in the territory of the federation; and can demonstrate that the transfer to the territory of the federation was not motivated by participation in their national teams.

Change of Federation

A player may request a change of the Federation only once for which it is selectable to play international matches with the federation of another country of which they have nationality, and only FIFA will approve the request for a change of federation if there are up to four different cases and which are included in the new article 9:

1.- The player has already played an official competition match, with the exception of « A » international matches, of any football discipline with his current federation or at the time of playing his first official competition match his current federation of any football discipline, he already possessed the nationality of the federation he wishes to represent.

2.- The second case is when the player has already played an official competition match of any category (except for « A » international matches) and football discipline with his current federation. Furthermore, at the time of playing his first official competition match of any football discipline with his current federation, he did not possess the nationality of the federation he wishes to represent. Or at the time of playing his last official competition match of any football discipline with his current federation, he had not yet reached 21 years of age.

3.- The third case is when the player has already played an international match « A » of official competition of any football discipline with his current federation. In addition, at the time of playing his first official competition match with his current federation of any category and football discipline, he already possessed the nationality of the federation he wishes to represent. At the time of playing his last official competition match of any football discipline with his current federation, he was not yet 21 years old. He has played a maximum of three « A » internationals of any football discipline with his current federation, both in official and unofficial competition, and at least three years have passed since he played the last « A » international game of any football discipline with his current federation, both in official and unofficial competition; or has never participated in any ‘A’ international matches in the final phase of a FIFA World Cup or confederation tournament.

4.- The fourth case is when the player wishes to represent another federation that has been admitted as a member of FIFA after playing their first official competition match of any category and soccer discipline with their current federation. That is if you have never played any official competition match, of any category or football discipline, for your current federation after being admitted as a FIFA member of the federation you wish to represent.

Also at the time of playing your first official competition match of any category and football discipline with your current federation:

A.- He possessed the nationality of the federation he wishes to represent, or
B.- He obtained the nationality of the federation that he wishes to represent as soon as possible after the country was recognized by the majority of the members of the United Nations and also meets any of the requirements stipulated in art. 6 or art. 7 already exposed before nationality change.

5.- And the fifth and last assumption is when the player has already played an international match « A » of official competition of any football discipline with his current federation, he lost his nationality permanently without his consent or against his will because of a decision of government authorities; and you already have the nationality of the federation you want to represent.

In all the cases outlined above, players who change federation will not be able to play for the new one in any competition in which they have already played with the previous one.

Lastly, FIFA contemplates the cases where the player can return to his home federation. In this case, the person who has been granted the change of federation and who has not played any match of official or unofficial competition of any football discipline with his new federation may request the change of federation, that is, the return to his first federation provided that he still possesses the nationality of the country of said federation.

In all the aforementioned cases, the player who requests said change of conformity will not be eligible to be part of the teams of any federation until a decision is made regarding their request.