Unable to get clearance from Fifa, Woodland misses Azkals World Cup qualifers opener
Tipped to start in the leadup to the match, Luke Woodland missed the Philippines’ World Cup Qualifying opener against Bahrain Thursday night at Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Philippine Football Federation general secretary Ed Gastanes Thursday night said the federation was unable to get clearance from the International Football Federation (Fifa)’s Players Status Committee for Woodland’s transfer of “sporting nationality” in time for the match.
Woodland needed the clearance since he played for the England Under 16, Under 17 and Under 18 teams, Gastanes said.
Stephan Palla the Fil Austrian leftback also faced a similar scenario having represented Austria at youth level. Palla got his confirmation from Fifa last Monday and started in the match last night.
But unlike Palla, Woodland needed four Fifa member associations to approve his transfer. Apart from England, Fifa also required the PFF to submit similar confirmation from the FAs of Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
Gastanes said the PFF submitted all these requirements last month.
“We are moving heaven and earth to get the decision that we need,” said Gastanes. CFC
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.