Goodison Park midfielder will not be part of Fabio Capello’s plans.
Mikel Arteta’s hopes of playing for England look likely to end in failure because of a little known Fifa rule.
Born in Spain, the 28-year-old Everton midfielder had hoped to qualify for England after completing five years residency in the United Kingdom.
However, because Arteta has played for Spain at junior level, he would have had to have held a British passport at the same time in order to be eligible.
“Our understanding is he is ineligible to play,” say the Football Association.
Article 18.1.a within the Fifa statutes outlines that any player who has represented their country in an official competition, at whatever level, would at that time need to have held a passport for the country they later wish to play for in order to be permitted to make the switch.
Arteta played for Spain in the Under-16 European Championships and then in the FIFA World Championships at Under-17 level. (BBC Sport)
So there you have it. If you were thinking of getting Arteta stencilled on the back think again. The 28 year old Everton man has been a consistent force in the Goodison Park attack and has become something of a cult hero and is indispensable to the club and would have been a great addition to Fabio Capello’s squad selection but it seems that any chance of such a inclusion are all but dead.
Presumably this ‘little known’ FIFA rule must have been well known to the Spaniard and his representatives. Quite how the former Rangers and Real Sociedad man has not been capped is beyond me. Yes it’s true the Spain have a myriad of options to pick from you would have thought that some time over his career he would have been rewarded with an appearance or two. Perhaps it’s not too late for a call up by his nation of birth?