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Michael Duffy's international switch from Northern Ireland to Republic approved by Fifa



Dundalk's Michael Duffy in action against Linfield.

Dundalk's Michael Duffy in action against Linfield.

Dundalk's Michael Duffy in action against Linfield.

After a two-year pursuit by the Football Association of Ireland, Michael Duffy's transfer of eligibility from Northern Ireland to the Republic has been cleared.

Fifa announced that the switch has been approved for the 26-year-old Dundalk winger, who was called up by Northern Ireland for a World Cup qualifying game against Czech Republic in 2016 then withdrew from the squad.

Duffy was targeted in 2018 by the Republic's then-coach Martin O'Neill. The paperwork was not yet complete when his former manager at Dundalk, Stephen Kenny, took over last year.

Back in November, Kenny said the delay in his paperwork had already cost Duffy a call-up to the Republic's senior squad.

“I would have called up Michael Duffy from Dundalk as well except that there’s an issue with his paperwork at Fifa." the RoI boss said. "But for that he would have been called up.”

The former Derry City star was previously capped by the Republic of Ireland Under 18s in 2012 and subsequently by Northern Ireland up to Under 21 level.

He signed for Celtic in 2015 and, during loan spells, went on to play in the Scottish Championship with Alloa and Premiership with Dundee.

He left Celtic without a first team appearance in 2017 and has since gone on to win two league titles with Dundalk. Earlier this season, he started eight Europa League games, including home and away against Arsenal.

Fifa have also approved the switch in international allegiance of former AC Milan defender Ricardo Ferreira. The 28-year-old's sole senior Portugal cap came in an international friendly and so he is eligible to transfer to the Canada, the nation of his birth. Ferreira is now playing his club football with Farense in the Portuguese league.


Belfast Telegraph

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