Belfast Telegraph

Irish FA impose ban on Luton Town midfielder McGeehan

By Stuart McKinley

The Irish FA have imposed a suspension on Luton Town midfielder Cameron McGeehan after he snubbed a call-up to the Northern Ireland Under-21 squad.

The player has since informed the IFA of his intention to switch his international allegiance, but he could now be left in limbo.

The 20-year-old London-born midfielder has won three Under-21 caps for Northern Ireland, after also pulling on the green shirt at Under-17 and Under-19 levels, but has now decided that he wants to pursue an international career with England.

McGeehan had been due to meet up with the Northern Ireland Under-21s ahead of tomorrow's European Championship qualifier against Scotland at Mourneview Park, but rather than boarding a flight to Belfast he made his decision known to manager Jim Magilton.

The IFA immediately invoked the Fifa five-day rule, which bars a player from turning out for his club in the five days following an international fixture if he withdraws from the squad.

McGeehan is now automatically ruled out of the Hatters' League Two clash with Cambridge United tomorrow, with the club attempting to appeal the ban.

Manager John Still has criticised the IFA's move, claiming that it is pointless when McGeehan no longer wants to play for Northern Ireland.

"I see both sides of the fence. I can see the national team, who have picked someone that doesn't want to play for them, them saying well if you're pulling out, you can't play for your club," said Still.

"Here is a young man who's decided he doesn't want to play for that country forever, so I would have thought they wouldn't have taken those steps, but I'm not in their position and I wouldn't want to comment about their position.

"My position, an outsider looking in, is I could fully understand them saying how disappointed they are, but Cameron not playing for us when he's never going to play for Northern Ireland, I'm not sure that's the right course of action for a young footballer."

Magilton still has a 19-man squad for the clash with Scotland, which is followed by a trip to Iceland next Tuesday.

Ryan McLaughlin, who joined Aberdeen on loan from Liverpool last weekend, will win only his second Under-21 cap, having twice played in the senior international team. Liam Donnelly is the only other player in the squad with senior international experience, having played on the tour of South America in the summer of 2014.

NORTHERN IRELAND UNDER-21 SQUAD: Conor Brennan (Stranraer) Conor Mitchell (Burnley), Ryan McLaughlin (Aberdeen), Liam Donnelly (Fulham), Cameron Dummigan (Burnley), Jamie Sendles-White (Hamilton), Luke Conlan (Burnley), Josh Doherty (Watford), Rhys Sharpe (Notts County), Ryan Johnson (Stevenage), James Singleton (Glenavon), Lewis Maloney (Middlesbrough), Dale Gorman (Stevenage), Jordan Stewart (Swindon Town), Joel Cooper (Glenavon), Michael Duffy (Alloa), Robbie McDaid (Leeds United), Shay McCartan (Accrington Stanley), Mikhail Kennedy (Charlton Athletic).

Belfast Telegraph