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A Guide To FIFA’s Eligibility Regulations For International Football

A Guide To FIFA’s Eligibility Regulations For International Football
Monday, 08 February 2021 By Jonathan Collins

On 18 September 2020, at its 70th Congress, FIFA approved changes to their eligibility regulations[1] (the Regulations), which govern the eligibility of players to play for representative international football teams. The changes, which were approved in full, can be viewed here in redline[2]

Further, in January 2021, FIFA released a Commentary on the Regulations[3] (the Commentary), which provides several valuable insights into the application and effect of the Regulations.

Taken together, the Regulations and the Commentary herald significant implications for the future of international football. This article is a guide to the main changes and focuses on:

  • FIFA’s attempt to clarify recent confusion surrounding the concept of “holding" nationality;
  • The prominence the Regulations now give to national laws; and
  • The implications for players and FIFA’s national Member Associations (MAs).

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Written by

Jonathan Collins

Jonathan Collins

Jonathan is an Irish-qualified solicitor, currently residing in Luxembourg. Jonathan played at Youth level for Munster Rugby, is mainly interested in rugby union and football, and is a lifelong Everton supporter.

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