The Arsenal right back Carl Jenkinson has pledged his international career to England, despite having appeared for Finland at under 19 and under 21 levels. He is waiting for FIFA clearance, but he could have a long wait if the case of Emmanuel Frimpong is anything to go by.
20-year old Frimpong played for England at under 16 and under 17 level, but decided to pledge his future to the Ghana national team. He made his mind up back in 2009, when he said this.
“No matter what, I will always play for Ghana because, at the end of the day, from what I believe, I am a Ghanaian.”
In 2011, Frimpong got a call up from the England under 21s, but had already stated that he was determined to play for Ghana.
“I have always told my family that if Ghana calls me, I will personally ride my own bicycle from England to Ghana.”
Ghana did call later that year, and Frimpong accepted and the Ghanaian FA announced it. More than a year later, Frimpong has still not received clearance from FIFA to allow him to actually play for Ghana. FIFA are blaming the GFA and say they have not received sufficient, correct documentation about the player.
FIFA absolve themselves of all responsibility, but it is a concern for both players. There seems to be a certain amount of confusion in the England FA as well. It was reported weeks ago that Jenkinson was to receive clearance, but nobody seems absolutely sure when this will happen.
Frimpong has already missed the AFCON with Ghana at the start of this year and looks set to miss the next one in South Africa in January if it is not sorted out soon. Someone is going to get Frimponged!