It has been claimed that Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj will commit his international future to England once he qualifies under FIFA’s residency rules, ESPN
Januzaj is eligible to play for several countries, including Belgium, the country of his birth, Albania, through his mother’s birthplace, and a number of Balkan states, as his father is from Kosovo. Should Kosovo ever be recognised by FIFA, Januzaj would be able to play for them, too.
To play for England he would have to wait another three years as FIFA rules require a player to have lived in a country for five years. Januzaj, 18, moved to England when he was 16 after leaving Anderlecht for Manchester United. He has yet to pledge his international career to any nation, despite attempts by Belgium to call him up for the recent World Cup qualifiers.
Indeed, it is said that comments from Belgium Coach Marc Wilmots have pushed Januzaj away from his homeland. Wilmots is reported as saying: “It is impossible to negotiate with me. The boy was born in Belgium, should he say that he wants to play for Belgium – from there, there is no haggling. I’m not going to play that game.
“The kid is available? He wants to play? Then perfect, okay, show me. If you’re at the top level in Manchester or elsewhere, show me your skills and if I need you I will call. I make no promises, to Januzaj or any person!”
However, Januzaj’s father did not take kindly to Wilmots’ words, saying in reply: “This is shameless. We never reacted on selections, phone calls or letters from the Belgian FA. They are requesting his selection, not us. Wilmots’ remarks won’t make it easier now. We are angry about these comments.”
Januzaj rose to prominence with two goals for United against Sunderland in the final Premier League game before the international period, giving the champions a 2-1 win at the Stadium of Light. Januzaj was included in United’s pre-season preparations, and remained among the first team once the new season got underway.
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