The Sun has sent the Twitter rumour mill into overdrive tonight, with their Friday front page claim that Manchester United starlet Adnan Januzaj has decided to play international football for England, from the 6 countries he has to choose from.
The Sun splash the story across their back page with some tenuous sources, failing not for the first time in doing the most basic bit of research.
Because there’s just one problem, if at Januazj has made that decision: he’s not actually eligible to play for the Three Lions after all, as detailed in this article from STV Sport.
Grant Russell explains:
”Under the terms of an agreement between England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the Football Association have no hope of capping Januzaj should the opportunity present itself in 2018.
The “home nations” agreed to opt out of the residency rule in 2009. FIFA’s statutes state that “associations sharing a common nationality”, as is the case with the four nations, can make an agreement to remove the residency clause. Said agreement exists between the four associations.’‘
So it’s all probably a bit moot, and Janujaz will most likely declare for Belgium, Albania or Kosovo from his other options, but it hasn’t stopped the English Twittersphere getting all a flutter, though many remain skeptical as to the veracity of the story.
I hope Januzaj hasn’t chosen England. The hype would be unbearable.
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) January 30, 2014
Apparently Adnan Januzaj has said he’s opted to play for England?! At least he’ll have most summers off and no burden of internationals
— Nathan (@tigerprawn777) January 30, 2014
Yes! Januzaj wants to play for England! :)
— JB (@JackkBrookks25) January 30, 2014
Januzaj can’t play for Engand. Idiots.
— Jon Warburton (@jon_warburton) January 30, 2014
Could Januzaj qualify for Wales?
— LasVegasDan (@LasVegasWI) January 30, 2014
Januzaj in an England shirt? Not for me, thanks.
— Eddie Lattimore (@EddieLattimore) January 30, 2014