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banner Thursday, 14 February, 2002, 16:42 GMT
Cahill ponders court action
Tim Cahill celebrates after scoring for Millwall against Nottingham Forest
Tim Cahill wants to go to this summer's World Cup
Millwall's Tim Cahill is thinking of going to court if Fifa fails to overturn a ruling which stops him representing the Republic of Ireland.

The Australian-born midfielder wants to play for Mick McCarthy's team at this summer's World Cup.


This ruling is wrong and I want it overturned
Millwall's Tim Cahill

But Cahill played for Western Samoa in two under-20 World Cup qualifying matches when he was 14 and Fifa insists he cannot represent another nation.

Cahill has an English father, a Samoan mother and Irish and Scottish grandparents.

He made just two substitute appearances in the tournament.

And despite the Samoans insisting they no longer require Cahill, Fifa is adamant he can represent no other country.

"I saw it simply as a chance to go on holiday because my grandmother was ill at the time in Samoa," Cahill told the London Evening Standard newspaper, explaining his decision to play for Western Samoa.

"I could not have cared less about playing for them.

"It was a men's tournament and I never expected to play.

"My father checked with the Australian FA at the time and was told that taking part would not affect my international ambitions.

"At the end of the day it is down to Fifa, but surely it was not right for a 14-year-old boy to play in a competition for under-20s?

"My parents never signed anything so how can anything be binding?

"This ruling is wrong and I want it overturned as it is harming my career. It is a mistake."

Ruling

Australia also wanted to procure his services for the 2000 Olympic games but Fifa blocked the move.

Cahill and his advisors - SFX Management - as well as the Professional Footballers' Association have already begun proceedings to overturn the ruling.

And they are ready to go to court to solve Cahill's international status.

"We are keen to get this stupid ruling overturned," said Cahill's advisor Paul Martin.

"I think Fifa need to make an exception in this case as he was only 14 at the time he played and yet he is now being denied the chance to take part in World Cups.

"We will go to court over this if necessary."

Other top World Cup 2002 stories:

Links to more World Cup 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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