United arrive home from Dubai jaunt… as Januzaj must decide whether to answer Kosovo call-up By NEIL ASHTON
Adnan Januzaj is coming under increasing political pressure in Kosovo to play in the country’s first international fixture, against Haiti next month.
Kosovo’s first deputy prime minister Behgjet Pacolli has made a plea to the Manchester United winger to commit his international future to the country.
Kosovo are not yet affiliated with FIFA, but they have been authorised to play Haiti in their first official match.
Here I am: Adnan Januzaj, arriving back in Manchester, has been invited to play for Kosovo
Welcome back: Van Persie, left, and Rooney arrive in Manchester after the club’s training camp in Dubai
It will be a massive coup for Kosovo if they can persuade Januzaj to represent them in the friendly, but he wants more time to make a decision on his future.
Januzaj was born in Brussels but his complicated family background means he could play for a number of international teams, including Belgium, Kosovo and England if he meets residency rules.
England were one of the teams hoping to capitalise on Januzaj’s reluctance to commit his international future to any one team.
Breakthrough: Januzaj burst on to the Premier League stage with both goals in a 2-1 win at Sunderland earlier in the season
Pressure: Januzaj has received a personal plea from Kosovo’s deputy prime minister
Head coach Roy Hodgson wanted the FA to make a policy decision on players who are born outside of the country before choosing to pick them.
Under current FIFA rules Januzaj cannot change nationality until 2017, but FA chiefs admitted last week that the are in dialogue with FIFA over a rule change.
Meanwhile, Kosovo general secretary Eroll Salihu said: ‘The invitation to him (Januzaj) is symbolic but we believe that he is obliged to show his people that he will be there when needed in a historic moment.
‘We should have an answer by the end of this week and Januzaj’s appearance would simply show that he has not forgotten his people, even (if) he can play only for 10 or 15 minutes.’
Salihu said the FKK had spoken to Januzaj’s uncle and father and clarified that the youngster would still be free to choose to play for another country in the future.
‘It’s a friendly so it will not be an obstacle and he would be eligible to play for whoever he chooses,’ Salihu said.