Monday, January 13, 2014

Januzaj blow for England

The international future of Adnan Januzaj took a potentially significant step with the announcement by FIFA that Kosovo has been granted permission to form a national team.

England have explored the possibility of recruiting the precocious 18-year-old for Roy Hodgson's side once he has completed five years of residency but it is believed Kosovo, where Januzaj's father Abedin was born, would be his preference.

The stumbling block to that choice has been FIFA's reluctance to recognise Kosovo for international competition - but Sepp Blatter confirmed friendlies could now be arranged with the country.

It is left to be seen which nation Januzaj will commit to ultimately, but the FA are likely to find the development as a hindrance in their bid to persuade the Manchester United midfielder that he should wear the England shirt.

Januzaj, who has been one of David Moyes's most prominent performers all season, has said he is determined to 'make Kosovo proud' while his father has seemingly ruled out the viable options of Belgium, Albania and Turkey.

A campaign to install Kosovo as a country in the eyes of FIFA has been going since 2012 and last week Blatter met with Fadil Vokrri, president of the Kosovan football association.

The world governing body's emergency committee today granted that wish.

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