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Friday, February 10, 2006

I've Always Been Proud of My ______ Heritage

"I've always been proud of my [insert name of World Cup team here] heritage..."

You're going to be hearing this a lot over the next few months as the smaller nations to have qualified for the World Cup Finals cast their nets and try to haul in anyone who have even the vaguest connection with their country.

Players who were previously not even aware that they had some Angolan or Trinidadian heritage will start claiming how proud they are of this ancestry in a cynical and transparent attempt to disguise the fact that they are so desperate to play World Cup football - even if it is for a country they've never visited and can't even locate on a map.

So the
Trinidad and Tobago vs Iceland friendly has English Fulham 'Keeper Tony Warner in the squad along with a few Scots and a couple of Americans.

These players have, no doubt, "always been proud of their Caribbean heritage".

The current FIFA rules state this : "A player must either have lived in a country for at least two years [before he can become a naturalized citizen], or have a parent or grandparent who was born there...Players who have played for one country's A team at national level are not allowed to change nationality."

This is a pretty dumb rule....particularly as it has meant that Owen Hargreaves is an England player. There's just no excuse for that.

posted by mark_s at 7:34 PM


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