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Growth of Indian football stunted by government interference in player eligibility

Friday, 26 July 2013 By Kevin Carpenter

The eligibility of sports people born in one country to represent another country or national team has been a contentious issue across the vast majority of sports for time immemorial.  In modern times this has perhaps been most notable in cricket and rugby union.  

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Written by

Kevin Carpenter

Kevin Carpenter

Kevin is a advisor and member of the editorial board for LawInSport, having previously acted as editor.

Kevin specialises in integrity, regulatory, governance and disciplinary matters. His expertise and knowledge has led him to be engaged by major private and public bodies, including the IOC, FIFA, the Council of Europe, INTERPOL and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), as well as making regular appearances internationally delivering presentations and commenting in the media on sports law issues.

His research and papers are published across a variety of forums, including having a blog on LawInSport.

Comments (3)

  • James Kitching

    • 26 July 2013 at 14:22
    • #

    (short version posted to Twitter)

    Sorry Kevin, your interpretation is incorrect.

    Article 6 of the FIFA Regulations Governing the Application of Statutes only applies to those who hold a passport which entitles them to play for more than one football 'nation' - eg a British passport entitling a player to play for the four 'home nations' and some Caribbean nations, or an American passport entitling a player to play for the USA, Guam, Puerto Rico (etc).

    The correct Article you want is Article 7, if a player is not entitled to a passport at birth. If they are, then Article 5 is applicable.

    Furthermore, you seem to have overlooked the residency requirements (2 years for Article 6, 5 years for Article 7) and the 'change of nationality' requirements (Article 8), which are strictly enforced by FIFA and the Confederations (especially for senior level players). Without knowing the full facts, Chopra may not even be eligible to switch to India having played for England youth teams at official tournaments, given their passport laws and when one 'acquires' Indian nationality.


  • James Kitching

    • 26 July 2013 at 14:30
    • #

    sorry, re-read article and saw you mention Chopra has Indian parentage. regardless, you want either Article 5 (dual national at birth) or Article 7 (acquire nationality).


  • Kevin Carpenter

    • 26 July 2013 at 15:42
    • #

    Hi James

    Thanks for your comments clarifying the interplay between different Articles within Regulation 3, it is now very clear (unlike the Regulations themselves).

    I was using Chopra as a generic example but there are instances of other players who satisfy FIFA's criteria to play for India, including residency, and have been wrongly denied the right to play.


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