• Football

Januzaj could make international debut for Kosovo

ESPN staff
February 15, 2014
Adnan Januzaj could opt to play for England in four years © PA Photos

Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj could be set to make his international debut for Kosovo next month, although he would still be eligible to play for another country afterwards.

Januzaj, 19, who has enjoyed an impressive season with United, is yet to pledge his allegiance to one nation at international level.

He is wanted by a host of different countries, with Belgium, Albania, Turkey, Serbia and England all hoping to persuade him to represent them.

Kosovo, where the majority of his family hail from, are also keen on securing Januzaj's international future, and he could line up for them in their first ever official match against Haiti in Mitrovica on March 5.

Kosovo is currently not recognised by the United Nations and until then cannot be admitted to FIFA. World football's governing body, however, has granted Kosovo permission to play against full FIFA members who recognise the nation's independence, although the use of any Kosovan emblems or the playing of the national anthem is prohibited.

Any future Kosovo matches, including the Haiti clash, will not be classed as an official FIFA friendly.

The Football Federation of Kosovo (FFK) is confident of securing Januzaj's services - and a number of other players with Kosovan roots who have already played for national sides - for its maiden game next month.

"We are in discussions with Adnan's family and to have a player of his amazing talent play in our very first match would be hugely symbolic," FFK secretary general Eroll Salihu told the Daily Star. "We feel he owes it to his people to take some part in the match, even if it is for just 15 minutes.

"I stress this is a symbolic gesture. By playing in this match we are not thinking he is making any commitment to us. It is a friendly and would not have an effect on him being able to play for another country in the future. It is not our purpose to do that, but we hope he can be with us on a very special and memorable occasion."

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