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FIFA delay Gibson eligibility decision

By Graham Luney

Published 16/10/2007

FIFA are not expected to rule on the Darron Gibson dispute until next week.

The governing body heard the Irish FA's side of the story in Zurich yesterday and another meeting has been arranged with FAI officials next Monday to listen to their arguments.

An IFA statement read: "The IFA reaffirms its commitment to the independence of football internationally and looks forward to FIFA resolving the issue satisfactorily. There will be no further comment from the IFA on the matter at this stage."

A FIFA spokesman told the Belfast Telegraph: "Our meeting with the IFA regarding the Darron Gibson eligibility issue took place today. There is not a lot we can say until after the meeting with FAI officials next Monday.

"Once that meeting has taken place FIFA will be able to comment on the results of those meetings."

Gibson played for Northern Ireland under-16s but then opted for the Republic. Since then, the Londonderry-man has earned under-17, under-19, under-21 and his two full caps for the Republic.

PAT Fenlon has been installed as manager of the Republic of Ireland's under-23 side. The Dubliner has been out of work since leaving Derry City after just 11 games earlier this year.

The side will compete in the UEFA under-23 International Challenge Trophy and will play in the same group as David Jeffrey's Northern Ireland side, Belgium and Slovakia. Fenlon's first game will be against Slovakia at Dalymount Park on November 13.

Belfast Telegraph

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