FanPost

Let's clear up this whole "Cap Tie" situation... maybe?


Wednesday's game against Costa Rica had another one of those 'what's the real rule' moments when everyone's favorite color commentator, Taylor Twellman, mentioned the same thing we heard back in March about Yunus.

According to him Yunus is cap tied because he has appeared in at least 4 friendlies for the USMNT. Even Berhalter/US Soccer is unsure if Yunus is cap tied, which is really embarrassing, so like him I started to do some digging.

What I found is this: FIFA Statutes (September 2020)

Where the misunderstanding occurs, I believe, is Article 9.2.c of the "REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE APPLICATION OF THE STATUTES". Article 9 governs the change of association for a player. My understanding is that Yunus is not officially cap tied, but because he has appeared in more than three official or non-official competitions at the "A" (senior) international level and his appearances all came after September 2020, a request to switch associations would not be granted.

Basically, it's backwards; You are still eligible to file a switch, even if you have appeared in an official competition, until you are 21 unless you have appeared in more than 3 official or non-official competitions. Because he's appeared in 5 friendlies now, if he wanted to file a switch said switch would not be granted. It's still unclear what that means in terms of his ability to change back to England as I'm not confident he would have to file a request to change at the moment, but if he was required to file a switch back to England the current statutes mean a change would not be approved.

Here's the copied text from the document - a quick not that the requirements laid out in 9.2.c are cumulative (you would have to meet all of them):

9 Change of association

1. A player may, only once, request to change the association for which he is eligible to play to the association of another country of which he holds nationality.

2. A request to change association may be granted only in the following circumstances:

.....c) the player: i) was fielded in a match in an official competition at "A" international level in any kind of football for his current association; ii) at the time of being fielded for his first match in an official competition (at any level) in any kind of football for his current association, he held the nationality of the association which he wishes to represent; iii) at the time of being fielded for his last match in an official competition in any kind of football for his current association, he had not turned 21 years old; III. iv) was fielded in no more than three matches at "A" international level in any kind of football for his current association, whether in an official competition or non-official competition; v) at least three years have passed since being fielded for his last match at "A" international level in any kind of football for his current association, whether in an official competition or non-official competition; and vi) has never participated in any kind of football at "A" international level in the final tournament of the FIFA World Cup or a final tournament of a confederation competition.

To be clear, I don't think Yunus is considering switching back; he's made his choice. This is more of an exercise in trying to understand FIFA's new eligibility rules.

I've included an additional resource below. The Commentary, IMO, is not really helpful and does not do a good job clarifying much on this specific issue (other than whether the age restriction applies and if that would stop you from being able to change association).

Commentary on the Rules Governing Eligibility to Play for Representative Teams

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