Doha 19/10/2003 – In its Extraordinary Congress in Doha 204 nationals associations decided to modify the statutes of the world football body, FIFA. Player`s nationality is one of the key interests to Africa in the new FIFA statutes.
The new statutes allows players who switch national associations to play in senior competitions even if they had participated before for a second national association in junior and youth championships up to the age of 21.
The rule applicable before had stated that a player with dual nationality was obliged to play for only one association if he had already taken part with a national team in any official match in any age category.
The Confederation of African football, CAF, is one of the confederation who had pressed hard for this change, which will allow young African talents with dual nationalities of playing for their homeland and raising Africa flag even if they had participated with the national associations of the countries they were born in, immigrated to, or lived in before acquiring its nationality.
Many African players have been deprived of International Football activity after being picked up by foreign national associations at a young age, then not being able to continue at the national level in the Senior category.
This will also give African Footballers more freedom in deciding where they want to play while being eligible to make the final decision at the wise age of 21.