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Page last updated at 15:24 GMT, Tuesday, 16 June 2009 16:24 UK

Driver could still play for Scots

Hearts winger Andrew Driver
Driver could make his England Under-21 debut against Spain

Hearts winger Andrew Driver could yet switch allegiance to Scotland even if he plays for England at the European Under-21 Championships this week.

Driver was an unused substitute as England beat Finland 2-1 in their opening match on Monday.

But a draft Fifa proposal would allow players like Driver to switch as long he has not played a full international.

The home nations are awaiting approval for extending their own eligibility rules to five years schooling.

Only if world football's governing body gives the green light to both proposals would 21-year-old Oldham-born Driver be eligible to play for both England and Scotland at full international level.

Even then, it would require the Scotland manager to choose a player who has recently been quoted as saying that he feels more English than Scottish, despite having moved north of the border as a child.

Present rules mean players have to declare their allegiance once they have reached the age of 21.

The Fifa proposal, issued as a draft on Tuesday, would allow a player to decide on his country of allegiance at any time during his career as long he was still uncapped.

Fifa would allow countries to call up any player as long as he has five years residence, but England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are opposed to loosening blood ties to that extent.

The possibility of Rangers' Spanish-born striker, Nacho Novo, playing for Scotland was ruled out on that basis.

Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith therefore proposed the five years schooling rule to ensure that players choosing the home nations have some emotional tie to the country for which they want to play.

Meanwhile, Driver, who had previously indicated that he would be happy to play for Scotland if eligible, will hope to make his debut for England Under-21s in their next match, against Spain on Thursday.

England opened the tournament with an unconvincing victory over Finland, Micah Richards giving Stuart Pearce's side victory despite being reduced to 10 men and having Lee Cattermole's opener cancelled out by Tim Sadek.



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see also
England U21s 2-1 Finland U21s
15 Jun 09 |  Internationals
England Under-21s hit by injuries
01 Jun 09 |  Internationals
England U21 7-0 Azerbaijan U21
08 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Driver 'delight' at England call
29 May 09 |  Hearts
Driver set for England U21 call
15 May 09 |  Hearts


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