2014 World Cup: FIFA rejects Portugal's request to play Fernando against Ghana
Portugal’s hopes of playing midfielder Fernando against Ghana at the World Cup have been dashed after FIFA rejected their nationality switch request for the Brazil-born star.
The European country, who are in the same group as Ghana at World Cup, were seeking to get the nationality switch approved for the Porto star before they play at the World Cup in June.
But football’s governing body FIFA vetoed the request by Porto’s Brazil-born midfielder Fernando to play for Portugal.
The 26-year-old was granted Portuguese nationality last December having represented Porto since signing from Brazil’s Vila Nova in 2007.
In a statement released on Friday, the Portuguese Football Federation revealed FIFA had dashed the player’s hope of representing his adopted country at this year’s World Cup.
“FIFA considered that the player did not hold Portuguese nationality when he played for Brazil in the under 20 World Cup qualifiers, as required by federation regulations,” the statement said.
Fernando had hoped to join a long list of Brazil-born players to switch their allegiance.
Recent examples include Deco (Portugal), Marcos Senna (Spain), Pepe (Portugal) and Diego Costa (Spain).
Ghana will play Portugal in their last Group G match at the World Cup against Portugal.