According to a report from Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany’s hopes that VfB Stuttgart left-back — and one-time Bayern Munich transfer target — Borna Sosa could suit up for Die Mannschaft have officially be dashed.
After brief optimism last week that Sosa would be be able to shift his international commitment from Croatia to Germany, we saw doubt emerge yesterday with what seemed like a pretty clear-cut rule regarding when players were ineligible to change allegiances.
DFB director Oliver Bierhoff addressed the situation:
Despite his naturalization, Borna Sosa will not play for the German national team. The German Football Association (DFB) has “carefully and seriously examined the possibility of his eligibility to play for Germany,” DFB director Oliver Bierhoff announced at Sid’s request, but stressed: “Unfortunately, the result is not positive.”
He said the federation had decided, after consulting with FIFA, “not to apply for a change of association in his case, as this would have little chance of success due to the statutes, which were changed only a few months ago.” The 23-year-old left-back, who has so far played for the national under-23 teams of his native Croatia, was undone by an age clause in the regulations of the world governing body.
Sosa played for Croatia’s U-21 squad as a 22-year-old last November, which was a violation of Article 9, point 2 b III — a relatively new rule for FIFA — if he had hoped for a change to Germany.
What is still unclear is how Germany tried to move forward with Sosa’s changeover, even though it seems pretty clear that Sosa was not going to be eligible.
“Borna Sosa is an interesting player with great potential, not only because of his performance in the current season,” Bierhoff said. “We could have envisioned him in the national team once his naturalization process was completed. We wish him all the best and much success for that.”