Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fifa have thankfully stepped into the farce surrounding the possibility of Everton's Mikel Arteta playing for England.

The result being, er, no, of course the Spaniard isn't English FFS.

Things were bad enough when big Jack put together an Irish team full of English and Scots players through all that grandparent nonsense, but all of this citizenship stuff just makes a mockery of international football.

I know countries like France and Switzerland have benefitted for years from bizarre citizenship rules and even the German team at this year's work Cup was full of Polish and other nationalities, but just because other countries are doing this it doesn't make it right.

The Home Nation countries have this "gentleman's agreement" re eligibility that is behind the rest of the world. Sure we may be missing a trick here, but I'd rather have it that way.

As it stands just now, to qualify for Scotland (or England, Wales or Northern Ireland), a player must either have been born in the country, have a parent or grandparent born in the country or have spent five years in education in the country before the age of 18.

That's why there's so many English accents around the Scottish camp just now.

I'm perfectly fine with the parental part. I know that if I had a kid (please shoot me if I'm ever that fucking stupid btw!) and I still wasn't living in Scotland, I'd want him to play for Scotland and not any other country I was living in.

I can just about accept the grandparent rule because so many people find themselves having to move for work or a better life these day. The whole education thing is ridiculous though on the one hand but on the other, if a kid has come from a war torn country for example and found a better life in Scotland and is proud to pull on a Scottish jersey and play for the cause then that's good enough to me.

Having a grown man suddenly change his country's allegiance isn't acceptable though.

It's not to do with passion. I'm sure some people will be more passionate than all those assholes that turn their back on the country just because they fall out with a particular manager. It just shouldn't happen.

Craig Levein has stated that he would like to see the "gentleman's agreement" updated so that we could catch up with the rest of the world. I say that it's not perfect as it is, but it's the most acceptable in my eyes when it comes to the stretching that it already does.

I know we all want to see Scotland become a Finals regular again, but I'm not prepared to have that at any cost.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting points GOF, I certainly think it would be daft having someone like Arteta in the England team today, in the year of our Lord 2010. But as the years go by, nationalities are becoming more and more diluted (which doesn't bother me in the slightest, incidentally) and it will be a totally different set up in 25-30 years i'd imagine. I'm not a huge fan of international football anyway, it is generally a game of individuals, not teams, but I watch with interest to see how it pans out.



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