FIFA ruling threatens Colautti, Tamuz's places on Israel team

Football governing body's decision states that temporary residents will no longer be allowed to play for their adopted countries.

toto tamuz 88 (photo credit: )
toto tamuz 88
(photo credit: )
A new FIFA ruling could prevent two of Israel's most prominent goalscorers from continuing to play for the national team. Roberto Colautti and Toto Tamuz have been barred from representing Israel in international competition after football's governing body decided that temporary residents will no longer be allowed to play for their adopted countries. The Israel Football Association, which received the news from FIFA on Thursday, immediately contacted interior minister Roni Bar-On requesting that Colautti and Tamuz receive full citizenship. "The new FIFA regulation is a huge blow to the national team," IFA chairman Avi Luzon said. "Everyone knows how big a contribution Colautti and Tamuz have on this team. We will do all we can so the players can play for Israel." The Argentinian born Colautti, who made his debut for the blue-and-white in September of last year, had an immediate impact, scoring six goals in seven Euro 2008 qualifiers. Betar Jerusalem forward Tamuz, who was born Nigeria but lived in Israel since the age of three, has also done well when given a chance, scoring two goals in six qualifiers. Israel coach Dror Kashtan was confident on Thursday that the issue will be sorted out as soon as possible. "I trust the Interior Ministry will know how to deal with this situation," he said. The Interior Ministry, however, announced on Thursday that it has no intention in changing its current stance regarding both players. "In a country you have rules and regulations which don't change according to FIFA decisions," Interior Ministry spokesperson Sabin Hadad said. "Colautti and Tamuz will have to wait for the end of their proceedings just like any other applicant." Colautti, who applied for citizenship last year, has still got three more years until his application is set to be approved. Tamuz has a slightly shorter wait ahead of him and is expected to receive full citizenship by the end of 2008.