BE PART OF THE TEAM

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 2 March 2021
Advertisement

Bayern prospect Johansson's eligibility for Ireland thrown into doubt

The FAI and the player’s representatives are liasing with Fifa over the issue, but Johansson today admitted he may yet play for Sweden.

Ryan Johansson in action for Bayern Munich against Tottenham.
Ryan Johansson in action for Bayern Munich against Tottenham.
Image: firo Sportphoto/Jürgen Fromme

BAYERN MUNICH’S TALENTED midfielder Ryan Johansson’s eligibility for Ireland has been thrown into doubt owing to a complex loophole within Fifa rules. 

Born in Luxembourg to a Swedish father and a mother whose parents hail from Mullingar, the 18-year-old earlier this year declared his international allegiances to Ireland, having represented all three at underage level. 

In an interview with Swedish outlet Expressen today, however, Johansson said that he may yet to play for Sweden owing to a complication with the paperwork involved. 

“I would love to play for Sweden”, said Johansson. “It is one of the countries I come from… I won’t be sorry if I can’t play for Ireland. It’s a win-win for me.

“I know that the Irish Confederation [FAI] is trying to resolve the situation and at the same time Sweden is very interested. We’ll see what happens in the next few months.” 

In a separate interview, Johansson’s father clarified that the issue is that, while the player had Luxembourg and Swedish passports at the time he played for Luxembourg at U21 level, he didn’t yet have an Irish passport.

Johansson is eligible for Irish citizenship but wasn’t born with it, given his mother was born to an Irish parents in England. 

The42 understands that the Luxembourg FA wrote to Fifa to raise the issues surrounding the fact Johansson did not have an Irish passport when playing with Luxembourg’s U21s. 

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

The FAI and Johansson’s camp are currently in dialogue with Fifa to resolve the situation. 

A spokesperson from the FAI said that the “Football Association of Ireland will be liasing to Fifa regarding the eligibility of Ryan Johansson to play for the Republic of Ireland. There will be no further comment made on the matter as it is an ongoing issue.” 

Johansson’s camp are keen to stress that playing for Ireland remains the player’s first choice, and that this isn’t another Declan Rice situation. 

Johansson made his Irish U19 debut last year, and has been heavily involved in Bayern’s pre-season campaign this summer. He played an hour against Tottenham on Wednesday, having already made an appearance against Arsenal in the International Champions Cup.

He was also on the bench against AC Milan and Real Madrid last week.

With reporting by Ben Blake 

About the author:

Gavin Cooney

Read next:

COMMENTS (58)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel