FIFA modifies the rules so that the ‘Munir case’ is not repeated

The FIFA Congress has approved a substantial change in its meeting this Friday. The international body has modified the regulations on the change of federations of a player who has the possibility to represent different nations. In this way, FIFA wants to avoid more Munir or Bojan Krkic cases and opens the door for a professional who has made his debut with one team to play international matches with another, as long as there are a series of circumstances that have been detailed in detail.

Until now, the debut of a player with one team blocked his participation with the other, even if he had dual nationality. One party was enough to not be able to represent the other country, something that happened to Munir El Haddadi. The player, born in Spain but with Moroccan parents, made his debut for Spain in 2015 in a 2018 World Cup qualifying match against Macedonia, when he was still 19 years old.

After that day, in which he only played 13 minutes, Munir was not called up again with Spain. Faced with this situation, the player received a call from Morocco to play the 2018 World Cup. The response from FIFA was negative: could not represent the country of birth of his parents because he had played 13 minutes with Spain. The current Sevilla player did not hesitate to resort to TAS, which agreed with FIFA, knocking Munir’s hopes down. Specifically, this type of case, in which one of the two countries tries to tie up a young promise to block his participation with the other, are the ones that FIFA tries to avoid with this modification of the regulations.

When could a player play with a second team?

As approved this Friday, a player could request FIFA to change his federation, even if he made his debut with another country, when the following requirements are met:

  • When he played his first official competition match with his current federation, the player already possessed the nationality of the federation he wants to represent.
  • The player was not yet 21 years old when he played his last game with his current federation.
  • The player played a maximum of three international matches with his current federation.
  • At least three years have passed since the player played his last game with his current federation.
  • The player has never played an international match with his current federation in a final phase of a FIFA World Cup or in the Eurocup, Copa América …