• England

Hodgson: I'll let FA deal with Januzaj issue

ESPN staff
February 14, 2014
Adnan Januzaj is believed to have indicated he wants to play for England © PA Photos

Roy Hodgson has avoided the thorny issue of whether Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj can play for England by passing the decision on to the FA.

Januzaj, 19, would be eligible to feature for England at the 2018 World Cup under FIFA regulations should he choose to do so. He would have to remain a resident of the United Kingdom for the next four years to reach a total of five years after his 18th birthday in order to qualify.

Complicating the issue is Januzaj's eligibility to play through his parents and grandparents for Belgium, his country of birth, as well as Kosovo, Albania, Turkey and Serbia.

However it is believed Januzaj and his father want him to play for England. He arrived in the country in March 2011 after United signed him aged 16 from Anderlecht's academy in Brussels.

The naturalisation of players born outside the UK has proved to be a sensitive issue recently with Jack Wilshere, the England and Arsenal midfielder, stating that only "English people" should play for the national side.

Other countries have taken advantage of new rules with Brazilian-born Diego Costa set to be called up by Vicente del Bosque for Spain at the World Cup after gaining dual nationality and becoming a Spanish citizen.

Januzaj has stood out for United this season, and is expected to contend for the Professional Footballers' Association young player of the year award.

However his future selection for England "is a matter for the FA board," according to Hodgson. He said: "There's no question of that, because it does raise a lot of issues within football.

"It's quite simple, my answer, at the moment and until such time as the FA board have made it clear in their mind what their policy is going to be, whether it's going to be quite simply following what FIFA dictates, or something slightly different in some way, all I've got to do is wait and see.

"The one thing you've got to understand with Januzaj, whichever way England decide to go, with the way the rules are at the moment there's no way he can play for England for the next few years."

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