Ireland U19 international Ryan Johansson has addressed concerns over his eligibility to play for the Boys in Green but confirmed that he has been having issues acquiring an Irish passport.
Johansson who qualifies to play for Ireland through his mother who was born in Mullingar, can also play for Sweden and Luxembourg and has represented all three teams at underage level.
The Bayern Munich midfielder had outlined to Pundit Arena in February that he would be continuing his international journey with the Boys in Green admitting that his heart was drawn to Ireland however it appears to have hit a snag.
In quotes translated from Swedish on website expressen.se, Johansson outlines that he is having issues acquiring his Irish passport, with a source close to the player confirming the news to Pundit Arena. The source explained that the situation is up in the air at the moment.
The piece quotes Johansson as saying that he had to have been in possession of an Irish passport before he first played for Luxembourg’s underage age side which he did not have – meaning FIFA would not approve the move.
Johansson’s father also outlined this issue in an interview with fotbollskanalen.se explaining that he thinks it is doubtful that FIFA will sanction him playing for the Boys in Green.
“What has happened is that Ryan has a Swedish passport from birth through me, but his Irish passport he has from his grandfather and then there are rules that say that when Ryan played his first official match for Luxembourg, then he had no Irish passport.
“If he had had an Irish passport then Fifa would have agreed to change, but since he did not, it is doubtful today that Fifa will approve that Ryan will play for Ireland.”
He explained that the FAI are in the process of appealing the decision. But he does not appear confident that Johnasson will be allowed to represent Ireland when the decision is made.
“It is true that the Irish federation has appealed Fifa’s decision, you can say and then it will come a final decision from Fifa and after that it is clearer to us.
“But as I said, the rules are pretty clear. He should have had his Irish pass when playing his first match for Luxembourg.”
Both Johansson and his father’s quotes appear to match up with FIFA’s eligibility rules, in particular, Article 8 (1a) which refers to a change of association.
If FIFA’s rules are to be upheld and the appeal from the FAI fails then it would be a massive blow for the Boys in Green, losing an extremely talented young midfielder.
A source close to the player did outline that Johansson is currently focusing on his club football at Bayern Munich and that he is letting his representatives handle the national team situation.