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Burley open to Novo for Scotland

Rangers striker Nacho Novo
Novo has been playing in Scotland for eight years

Scotland manager George Burley says it would be wrong to completely rule out the possibility of Spaniard Nacho Novo playing for Scotland.

The idea has provoked debate over whether naturalised Scots should be picked for the national team.

"Naturally, you're looking for Scottish players," Burley told BBC Sport.

"If you're desperate to play for Scotland and have lived here for years, from an SFA point of view you've got to be open to it."

The Rangers player qualifies for a British passport which would allow him to represent any of the home nations.

However, opinion is divided as to whether naturalised Scots should be picked for Scotland.

And this week SFA president George Peat said he felt the current criteria for selection should remain.

"As far as I'm concerned we should go no further than using the bloodline as far as grandparents," Peat told BBC Sport.

Burley acknowledged that selecting naturalised players is a sensitive issue, but one which should be examined further.

"I think times have changed - before we never even looked as far as Scottish grandparents - but you have to be very careful.

"You don't want to change it too much, but I think it would be wrong to exclude anyone because he doesn't have a Scottish parent or whatever."

"But they have to have the right credentials, such as playing regularly for your club.

"And at the moment Novo doesn't qualify - and he's also not a regular for Rangers."

Novo, 29, has spent eight years playing in Scotland and has never represented his native Spain.

He first moved to Scotland in August 2000, signing for Raith Rovers from Huesca before moving on to Dundee then Ibrox.

The striker admitted to newspapers he would consider switching allegiance to his adopted country if asked.

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see also
Scots would welcome Novo switch
24 Oct 08 |  Rangers

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