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La Liga starlet Ryan Johansson poised for Ireland call-up as FIFA relax rules

Sevilla midfielder Ryan Johansson is in line for a Republic of Ireland call-up as FIFA relaxed it...

Sevilla midfielder Ryan Johansson is in line for a Republic of Ireland call-up as FIFA relaxed its rules around international eligibility.

The former Bayern Munich man was denied a change of allegiance to the Boys in Green after appearing for the Luxembourg under-21s prior to applying for an Irish passport.

Johansson was born to an Irish mother and Swedish father in Luxembourg, and appealed the ruling 18 months ago as his preference was to play for Ireland. The appeal was denied.

FIFA have now changed that eligibility ruling and Irish administrators have informed the midfielder of the change, meaning Johansson could be available for the under-21s in May and June.

The move would be a major boost for the country, after a series of disappointing results for the senior side, not least the one against the country of Johansson's birth.

Ryan Johansson

There was speculation, fuelled by his agent, that Johansson had declared for Sweden shortly after his move to Sevilla in January 2020.

Following his move to Sevilla, Johansson's agent Hasan Cetinkaya was quoted in Swedish paper Expressen as saying, "It's been hard. There has been a lot of pressure from Ireland," with regard to national allegiance.

Centinkaya implied that he influenced the decision, telling the family, "If your name Johansson, then there is only one country that you can represent".

The agent claimed to have been in communication with Swedish FA General Secretary Hakan Sjostrand about Johansson, with Centikaya adding:

"It has been very sensitive and difficult for him to make this decision. But I have worked for the best of Swedish football here and that is what Sjostrand knows about."

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