JOHANNESBURG - African countries hoping to
benefit from the ethnic quotas controversy that has rocked
French football have acted too hastily as some players selected
for African Nations Cup qualifiers this weekend are ineligible.
Several young players turned to African countries following
the row that broke out in April when French website Mediapart,
citing sources within the French Football Federation (FFF), said
FFF officials were in favour of ethnic quotas.
The FFF denied they had discussed the idea of enforcing
limits on black and Arab players in youth academies.
Toulouse defender Cheikh Mbengue (pictured) and Olympique Lyon full-back
Lamine Gassama, both French under-21 internationals, have since
been called up by Senegal for their match against Cameroon.
However, FIFA ruled that neither player was eligible to
represent the west African country on Saturday because they had
not applied to the world governing body to change nationality.
Montpellier midfielder Younes Belhanda, who Morocco coach
Eric Gerets named in his squad for the match against Algeria on
Saturday, is also still ineligible with a FIFA spokesman telling
Reuters no application had been received for him.
However, his Montpellier team-mate Abdelhamid El Kaoutari
can play for Morocco after FIFA granted his application for a
change in footballing nationality last month.
FIFA said applications by former England under-21
internationals Victor Moses and Shola Ameobi to play for Nigeria
had been received but were still pending.
Both players were named on standby for Nigeria's match
against Argentina on Wednesday and a Nations Cup qualifier in
Ethiopia at the weekend.
African countries are hoping more players with ties to the
continent will defect from France and represent their country of
origin following the scandal at the French federation.
"The systems they have in France means we are able to gather
good players who are from the second generation of migrants,"
Senegal Football Federation president Augustine Senghor said in
a Radio France international interview.
"But we have also lost a lot of potential players to France,
like Alou Diarra and Patrice Evra. This is a pity for us.
"Overall we reckon France gains as much from its African
players as Africa does from players schooled in France."
Barcelona's golden boy grabs the headlines again
It's Larsson Jr stealing the show these days
England striker puts pen to paper on permanent deal
The new season is but six weeks away (in the Football League)
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010