New Telegraph

FIFA proposes rule change that will favour Nigeria

Fédération Internationale de Football Association FIFA on Wednesday proposed a new rule that could favour the Super Eagles of Nigeria and other African nations. Quite a number of Nigerian and African stars had been lost to many European countries while some wasted after they were capped by these European nations. Gabriel Agbonlahor, Munir El Haddadi and co would have benefited from this rule had it being in place years back. Agbonlahor who was eligible to play for Nigeria and England, played only three games for The Three Lions before he was dumped and he lost the chance to play for the Eagles.

Similarly, Munir El Haddadi who only played for 13 minutes in Spain’s European Championship qualifier wasn’t allowed to switch allegiance to Morocco. But all of that would be a thing of the past with the proposed FIFA rule that would allow footballers switch their allegiances to another national team.

This proposal gives hope to players who are eligible for multiple countries but fell out of favor at their first national team, where they are bound after just a single minute of playing time in a competitive game. The proposal would let players switch eligibility if they played a maximum of three times for the first national team–including tournament qualifying games–before they turned 21, and at least three years earlier. The new rule will take effect next month if 211 national federations approve it at the Sept. 18 congress that FIFA is hosting online from Zurich.

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