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Sevilla midfielder Ryan Johansson wins battle to declare for Ireland

Ryan Johansson

“Jim Crawford has been in touch and he will be in the Marbella squad in June.”

Sevilla midfielder Ryan Johansson has won his battle to play international football with Ireland, due to a relaxation in Fifa rules.

Johansson was born in Luxembourg to a Swedish father and Irish mother, and had been eligible to represent Ireland, Luxembourg and Sweden.

Ryan Johansson Ireland.

The 20-year-old had made it his preference to play for Ireland but that was previously blocked by a Fifa rule.

As he had made his first appearance for Luxembourg Under-21s before he got his Irish passport, this blocked him from switching allegiances.

Nevertheless, Johansson took legal advice and made a case through his family and the FAI, making the argument that he wasn’t aware of the rules prior to playing for Luxembourg.

When that went nowhere, it looked like the former Bayern Munich midfielder would declare for Sweden.

Johansson Ireland

However, a relaxation in Fifa’s rule will now allow a player to switch countries, even if they don’t hold a passport to their chosen country prior to making their debut at underage for another association.

This can only be the case if the player is under 21 years of age prior to their final appearance for the other nation.

The change in rule means the Sevilla B midfielder could be included in Jim Crawford’s Under-21 squad for their upcoming Marbella games against Switzerland, Australia, and Denmark in June. 

Johansson was playing for Bayern Munich underage but subsequently moved to La Liga side Sevilla in January 2020, signing a long-term deal with the Spanish club.

Ryan Johansson

Johansson’s family.

Johansson and his family were informed by the FAI of the news and were said to be “delighted”.

Founder of Irish Fan TV, Paul Nealon, confirmed he had also spoken to the family, and revealed the highly-rated midfielder would be included in Crawford’s squad, if he is declared fit, as a hamstring injury has curtailed his season so far.

“Ryan Johansson who was originally denied the chance to declare for Ireland due to a Fifa rule,” Paul Nealon tweeted on Tuesday.

“I can confirm today that he is eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland due to a change in Fifa rules, Jim Crawford has been in touch and he will be in the Marbella squad in June.”

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