Kenny says assumptions shouldn...

Sport

Kenny says assumptions shouldn't be made over Delap's eligibility

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

9:39 PM - 29 Sep 2020



Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has warned people not to get ahead of themselves regarding the rise of Liam Delap. 

The son of former Ireland international, Rory Delap, announced his arrival with a brace on his Manchester City debut last week in the Carabao Cup.

Pep Guardiola has since spoken highly of the 17-year old. Amid a striker shortage at the Etihad, the manager said, "He is a different striker than we have in terms of physicality, but we see in training sessions how good a finisher he is."

Delap Sr. qualified for the Republic of Ireland through his Letterkenny-born father, John and his Kells-native mother Maura.

Liam's explosion onto the scene has led some to wonder if a green jersey awaits in his future.

However, given his outings for England at U15, U16 and U17 level, Kenny has sounded a note of caution.

While players are allowed switch international allegiances, they can only do so if they've obtained an Irish passport prior to representing their original country.

This was the case with Sevilla's Ryan Johansson.

Johansson's mother Christine is Irish but, as Dan McDonnell explained, she was born in England to Irish parents.

While his parents are based in Luxembourg, he applied for a Swedish passport as it was a simpler option than the Irish passport process.

Johansson acquired a Luxembourg passport at age 12, but his failure to apply for Irish citizenship before his first underage appearance for Luxembourg provided added complications.

"There have been issues since the Johansson case on a lot of players' eligibility," Kenny said on Tuesday.

"A lot of players, in the public domain, people assumed that they were eligible, but they weren't.

"Because once they played for England, if they hadn't got Irish citizenship when they played for England, they didn't qualify [for Ireland]."

Matters have been complicated further by new FIFA guidelines regarding the switching of international allegiances.

Under the rules passed at FIFA Congress earlier this month, they state a player can now change eligibility if, "At the moment he was fielded for the first time in any official competitions for his current association, he did not hold the nationality of the new association that he wishes to represent."

With that in mind, Kenny said, "Obviously the new FIFA ruling has changed that somewhat. So we're still coming to terms with the ruling, studying it and examining that at the moment."



Read more about

Delap Ireland Liam Delap Manchester City Republic Of Ireland Rory Delap Ryan Johansson Stephen Kenny

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