Adnan Januzaj England Boost, Dad Says Manchester United Star Will Reject Kosovo

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2014

Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj controls the ball during his team's testimonial soccer match for Rio Ferdinand against Sevilla at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Friday Aug. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press

The English FA's hopes of persuading Manchester United prodigy Adnan Januzaj to represent the country have taken a major boost, after comments made by the player's father were published.

Jure Bohoric of Sky Sports reports that the teenage sensation has turned down the opportunity to join up with the Kosovo squad for their historic friendly with Haiti next month. It was expected that Januzaj would take up this option.

Bohoric quotes Januzaj’s Kosovar-Albanian father, Abedin Januzaj, who discussed the option of his son playing for Kosovo with TV station Kohavision:

I was born there and I would like my son to play for the national team of my country, but the matter is delicate, because the Kosovo FA is not yet a member of FIFA. Maybe one day Adnan will play for Kosovo, but for now, this will not happen. And we have a lot of time to think about everything.

James Boylan of The Metro had previously written that Januzaj's father would be keen for his son to declare for Kosovo were it not for the fact that they are not recognised by FIFA. Therefore, they cannot play competitive fixtures.

He quotes Abedin saying: 

I know [England boss] Roy Hodgson said he would consider having Adnan in the English squad in the future.

But, as I said for Albania and Belgium, it is not something we are considering right now. Our full potential will be focused in doing well with Manchester United.

Januzaj has been sensational for David Moyes this season and has been the one bright spark in the Scotsman's first few months in charge of the club.

Moyes has shown great faith in his young winger, with Januzaj appearing in 19 games this season and scoring three times, per Squawka

Neil Ashton of the Mail Online has voiced his opinion on the subject, backing Januzaj's freedom of choice of who he wishes to represent: 

Under FIFA law, Januzaj will have the choice of who he represents, but it does raise certain concerns on how many other talented youngsters might be cherry-picked to play for the more attractive footballing nations.

Do England really deserve the choice of being able to pick a talent who had not set foot on these shores until a couple of years ago? This is not a question of race, but more of fairness. 

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

The inclusion of immigrants is correct, as we have seen with England, France and many other nations, represented by individuals who have previously moved to that country to live and work prior to becoming involved with football.

However, this rule allows room for certain nations to tempt players in their early teens purely to represent the country of their bidding. That cannot be an acceptable practice. Money will cloud the subject. 

An example comes in the shape of Lionel Messi who, after his move to the Barcelona academy as a teenager, could well have decided that Spain was the nation for him. Messi put his country first and will therefore represent Argentina at the World Cup.

For players like Januzaj, the situation is different because Kosovo do not provide the same competitive opportunities of Argentina, or England for that matter.

Sooner or later this is going to cause huge issues, as countries succeed where others fail purely because they can offer a player financial and lifestyle gains. If that is the premise of international football in the future, the World Cup will be dead as a spectacle and as a credible product.