Belfast Telegraph

Sanchez move for Johnson is KO'd

By Stuart McKinley sportseditor@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

LAWRIE Sanchez today said reports linking David Johnson with Northern Ireland are way off the mark - because he doesn't qualify.

LAWRIE Sanchez today said reports linking David Johnson with Northern Ireland are way off the mark - because he doesn't qualify.



The Nottingham Forest striker had been linked with a call-up to Sanchez's squad for the Caribbean tour which starts at the end of the month.



Johnson, however, has been ruled out of ever playing for Northern Ireland, even though he is a British passport holder who wasn't born in the United Kingdom, due to the fact he has an English mother.



Under FIFA rules he only qualifies to play for Jamaica, where he was born, or England, the birthplace of his mother.



"Any reports about David Johnson are pie in the sky; he simply doesn't qualify to play for us," said Sanchez.



"I did speak to David Johnson a while ago; he was interested, but when we checked his eligibility we found out that his mother's English and therefore he can't play for us."



The only player to qualify for Northern Ireland so far through being born outside the British Isles is goalkeeper Maik Taylor.



He was born in Germany and has a German mother, but his father is English.



The rules, however, have changed since Taylor was first capped.

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