Thursday February 3 2011
FIFA to rule on Motta eligibility

FIFA are to judge whether Inter midfielder Thiago Motta can in fact play for Italy.

The 28-year-old Brazilian recently spoke with Cesare Prandelli to express his desire to wear Azzurro.

Motta has an Italian passport and a call up for this month's friendly with Germany looked on the cards.

However, there is a problem in that he played two matches for a sort of Under-23 Brazil side at the Gold Cup in 2003.

Brazil were invited to field a team in the competition for prestige's sake and did so at the time with young prospects like Kaka, Diego and Robinho.

It's now up to FIFA to determine whether that Brazil side was official or not.

The Italian Football Federation [FIGC] awaits a response, but the sense is that Brazil will also have a say in the matter.

La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that the Brazilian Football Federation might say Motta is ineligible to play for Italy either to spite a rival nation or because they consider him to be in their future plans.

If so, the FIGC will simply counter that Motta only played for an Under-23 side and therefore, according to FIFA's rules, he has yet to receive and full cap and can still choose to represent Italy.

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