Even though the football season is almost over the news of the day in Croatia is one about Borna Sosa. This talented 23 years old left-back player is exactly what the national team needs now. His outstanding performances both in his club and Croatia U21 national team made him a young player to watch. But it wasn’t just Croatian officials that were watching him.
German Football Federation was quick to approach the player. They managed to sway him to come to play for the German national team. Borna’s mother was born in Germany and he now has the legal right to claim German citizenship. The decision was a shocking one for the Croatian football public and especially painful given the specific talents and the position Borna Sosa excels at. We have already reported on the details of this story as well as on the interview in which he explained his decision. The case seemed pretty much closed. However, the latest news out of Germany puts another shocking spin on the entire story.
The Final Twist?
In order to have Sosa playing for the German national football team after already playing for the Croatia U21 team, he needs permission from FIFA, football’s global governing body. As index.hr reports, there is a new clause added in FIFA rulebook since September 2020 that states a player switching national teams needed to already have had citizenship of the nation he is switching to before he played for the national team he is switching from. In other words, Borna Sosa needed to already have had dual Croatian and German citizenship at the time when he played for the Croatia youth team. Borna Sosa applied for German citizenship this year, so this is not the case. Because of this, FIFA will most probably decline the German request.
This is quite a shock, not just because of the fact Sosa might not be allowed to play for Germany. It is very unusual for a serious football association to make a mistake like that, not checking basic rules and regulations. If FIFA decides to disallow this change in national teams, this will be quite an embarrassing episode for German officials. Going public with announcements of Sosa’s possible place in the national team might backfire spectacularly.
At the end of the story, Croatia might end up with the left-back player the fans were dreaming of. The question is, will there be bad feelings after the Germany saga.
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