English players Dual Nationality thread

Discussion in 'England' started by Simon Barnes, Apr 22, 2015.

  1. Jenks

    Jenks Member+

    Feb 16, 2013
    Club:
    --other--
    I don't see the sense in conflating streamlined national immigration policies with the general opinions of the footballing public. The overwhelming sense I get from fans from all over the world is that the grandparent rule is ridiculous, as is the idea that a person would choose to identify with a nation based on the nationality of a grandparent over where they were born, where they grew up, or the nationality of either of their parents, in the overwhelming majority of cases. International law is really neither here nor there. FIFA's job is to structure the rules so that players play for the countries they identify with, that's really not comparable with a national immigration policy designed to prioritise migrants who might more easily assimilate.

    All of those players who can't play for the nation they identify with, so play for another they're eligible for just because they can. It makes a mockery of international football.
     
  2. Athlone

    Athlone Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Jamaica
    We're not merely talking about "streamlined national immigration policies". We're talking about longstanding norms in the application of nationality law by different nations. Since the topic is about footballers with dual nationality who must necessarily subject themselves to these longstanding legal norms regarding dual nationality and citizenship by descent, I don't see how it could be sensible to isolate these things. The relation is not something that can be ignored.

    The overwhelming sense I get from people (football fans and non-football fans) all over the world (particularly those who are part of diasporas and/or are part of ethnicities with very large diasporas) is that the grandparent rule is not ridiculous and it is far from absurd to identify with a nation of your heritage (or your parents' heritage/nationality) over one in which you were born or raised. This is quite a common phenomenon in many immigrant communities throughout the western and non-western world.

    No, it is quite clearly here. In this instance, the subject of a given player's football nationality is not one that can exist independent of international law. Players do not get their passports and citizenship status from FIFA. They receive those things from the nations in which they reside, and must obtain them in accordance with the nationality laws of those nations. Their ability to represent (or compete as a professional in) any given nation lives or dies in accordance with the laws in that nation which govern the obtainment of citizenship and/or residency. International legal norms (including not ust best practices and precedents but treaties and other agreements that touch on the obtainment of citizenship and/or residency in multiple nations) help to shape these laws, and thus are quite clearly relevant.
    Given these realities, it really is not realistic to claim that "international law is really neither here nor there." I don't think there is anything else that is more clearly "here" with regards to this topic.

    FIFA's job is to structure the rules in such a way as to ensure that players represent countries to which they have legitimate legal ties. FIFA's structure is designed to ensure that players don't merely identify with the nations they represent, but are also actual nationals/citizens of the nations they represent. This is why all of the methods that FIFA uses to determine eligibility for any given nation (ex: birth, residency over a certain period of time, heritage, and marriage) are correlated so closely with established legal norms in many nations that determine eligibility for citizenship/nationality.

    You're certain these players don't identify with the nation they ultimately represent?

    I disagree, so long as that player's eligibility has been determined within the confines of established international norms that have long been accepted as sufficient to obtain nationality/citizenship in a given nation.
     
  3. Jenks

    Jenks Member+

    Feb 16, 2013
    Club:
    --other--
    This is a distinction without difference. These are domestic policies that vary from country to country that need not have anything to do with football.

    No, it definitely can do, and does to some extent. There's no such thing as English citizenship, for starters.

    Which would all be relevant if you needed to be a citizen of the country you wish to represent... but you don't.

    There are no international norms. There are some FIFA represented nations that offer citizenship through great-grandparentage, some that don't even offer it through jus soli, some that have no concept of citizenship at all, and everything in between.

    I'm certain that some don't, as they've admitted as much.
     
  4. Athlone

    Athlone Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Jamaica
    That is true, but one's status as an England/N.I./Wales/Scotland player is one necessarily tied to their status as a national of the United Kingdom.

    You usually do.

    The case of an England/Scotland/N.I./Wales may be unusual in the sense that one cannot be a citizen of those nations as they are not Sovereign, but the nationality of any player representing any of those flags is still necessarily tied to a) UK laws regarding nationality and b) established norms regarding what has been widely accepted as "sufficient" to tie one's allegiance to any given nation as a national (ex: birth, heritage going back to grandparents, or residency).

    Yes there are. It is a norm, for example, to allow qualification for citizenship via jus sanguinis - the vast majority of the world's nation states do some variation of this. Only a minority of the world's nations offer citizenship via jus soli.

    But not the majority?
     
  5. Jenks

    Jenks Member+

    Feb 16, 2013
    Club:
    --other--
    No it isn't!

    You can qualify through parentage or grandparentage without having any citizenship of the country in question. It's not just a quirk of England being a constituent country of the United Kingdom, it applies to everyone. If I had a French grandparent I would be eligible to play for France, whether I had French citizenship or not.

    Which doesn't really support your argument, given that FIFA grants eligibility through the latter.

    Who knows? I'm sure it varies depending on the football association and how they operate. I would be very surprised for example if all of those Qatari players plucked from every corner of Africa and Eurasia were all proud Qataris.
     
  6. Athlone

    Athlone Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Jamaica
    You would be eligible to play, but until you acquired French citienship you would not be able to actually represent France competitively. You would need French citizenship for anything more than a friendly. Without a French passport (which you would be required to produce prior to a competitive game), you would never be able to represent France in a competitive match (including World Cup qualifiers).

    Again, one can play in a friendly without acquiring citizenship (players have competed for Jamaica in friendlies prior to obtaining passports, for example), but citizenship is required for competitive matches. Without proven citizenship and a passport, that player is ineligible. I don't know where you got the impression that this wasn't the case.

    Since your original claim here was that the concept of jus sanguinis was senseless (the implication being that one should not be able to qualify via grandparents), I think the fact that this method is the norm around the world is quite relevant and helpful. FIFA's support of jus soli may not be a global norm, but their support of jus sanguinis (embodied by the grandparent rule) is very much the norm and far from "ridiculous" in the eyes of most.

    And I'd seriously wonder how many of England's players are really proud Englishmen.
     
  7. TRS-T

    TRS-T Member

    Aug 21, 2014
    Club:
    Aston Villa FC
    I just think that a national team should be the best 11 players to come from that country. Not the best 11 players who we could convince to play for us.

    If I was a footballer I could play for Jamaica (4 Jamaican grandparents) but I wouldn't want to take the place of real Jamaican.
     
  8. Jenks

    Jenks Member+

    Feb 16, 2013
    Club:
    --other--
    So in other words, you only brought up "international norms" because in this specific case it suits your argument, not because it's actually true that FIFA should or do operate that way. Clearly they sometimes adopt "international norms" and sometimes don't, in which case the fact that they're "international norms" is irrelevant. They could go either way if they wanted to. Same with citizenship.

    Why?
     
  9. Athlone

    Athlone Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Jamaica
    No, I brought up the international norms bit to counter this claim that the concept of qualifying for nationality or citizenship via one's grandparents is "absurd" and should be disallowed. I don't see anything "absurd" about following an established international norm.

    You claimed that it made sense that one should not be able to qualify to represent a given nation on the basis of a grandparent's nationality before implying that it was absurd to allow such a thing. It is hard to find merit in that claim when that very practice has been widely embraced in international law and is codified in the nationality laws of the bulk of sovereign states. It seems to have made plenty of sense to the bulk of the international community's lawmakers (and the constituents responsible for their election) for many decades now.

    And yes, it is indeed true that FIFA's modus operendi should take this reality into account given the fact one's ability to represent any given nation in a competitive FIFA match is directly linked to their compliance with said nation's laws regarding nationality.

    They are actually following international norms with regard to jus soli as well, though they do so less directly. FIFA allows players to qualify via jus soli, but many nations will not grant citizenship solely on that basis. Since FIFA requires players to obtain citizenship before representing any given nation in a competitive international fixture, the effect of the rule is that players can only qualify via jus soli in nations that grant citizenship on that basis (a minority of nations, as it were). That end result conforms to international norms which largely cut against jus soli by limiting its effectiveness.

    In short, FIFA is able to conform with the normal international bias against jus soli without explicitly prohibiting it. By allowing it as a means of qualification while simultaneously insisting that players be citizens of any nation they seek to represent competitively, FIFA effectively aligns the effect of their policy with the broader international norm (players cannot qualify to represent the vast majority of nations on the basis of jus soli alone).

    There are multiple England players whose heritage is no more closely tied to England than the Qataris you mentioned are tied to Qatar.
    Also, few generally are more disparaging of England than the English.
     
  10. Athlone

    Athlone Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Jamaica
    Jamaicans are defined by the roots/heritage, which are forever tied to Jamaica. Thus, all Jamaicans come from Jamaica. Their ultimate end location is irrelevant to that fact.

    If you are a diasporan and you don't think you're a real Jamaican (for whatever reason), that's fine on an individual level, but to go further and make a broader claim regarding the existence of "real Jamaicans" outside of the country is problematic. Not all real Jamaicans reside in Jamaica, nor are all real Jamaicans born and raised in Jamaica.
     
  11. The Guardian

    The Guardian Member+

    Jul 31, 2010
    Club:
    --other--
    Bernard Manning used to say: if a dog is born in a stable, it doesn't make it a horse. And the old National Front thought that blacks shouldn't play for England.
     
  12. ChristianSur

    ChristianSur Member+

    May 5, 2015
    Club:
    Sheffield Wednesday FC
    Actually I can understand this, because I identify as a prehistoric fish. Some of my ancestors were raised as prehistoric fish, and we prehistoric fish are defined by our roots and heritage, forever. Ok, so as a marine diasporan I personally have next to no experience of being a "real" prehistoric fish or living in the sea, and my even older ancestors were not actually prehistoric fish themselves, but for whatever reason I've decided to fix my identity at an arbitrary point in my ancestral history that has little to do with my personal experience.

    You might think that's daft, but the sea don't mind. And it's not just because it's a really, really convenient way to call up ringers that the underwater community had no part in training to the Ocean's 11 football team. It might look exactly like that but it's definitely not that. Incidentally I'm fairly sure Nathan Redmond qualifies.
     
  13. Jenks

    Jenks Member+

    Feb 16, 2013
    Club:
    --other--
    #213 Jenks, Jul 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
    This rationale amounts to circular reasoning built on a false equivalency. National football team eligibility and national citizenship need not be linked at all, and only are because FIFA has decided they are. You can't argue that FIFA are adhering to any kind of norm because there is no norm to adhere to. They're two different things. The reasons governments make decisions about citizenship policy are totally different from the reasons that FIFA makes decisions (or should make decisions) about eligibility.

    And even if we assume that citizenship through grandparentage is the norm (a claim which you haven't substantiated by the way), their residency rule doesn't conform to anything because there is no consensus for it to conform to. FIFA can and do make up their own rules, and any comparison with government policy is arbitrary.
     
  14. Jenks

    Jenks Member+

    Feb 16, 2013
    Club:
    --other--
    Interesting. So if someone gains Jamaican citizenship and becomes a world class footballer, you will no doubt be dead-set against them representing Jamaica, yes?
     
  15. Athlone

    Athlone Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Jamaica
    I'm going to assume that this someone you're talking about has no Jamaican heritage and wasn't born in Jamaica?

    I'm perfectly willing to prohibit that individual from representing Jamaica, on one condition: other nations must do the same for individuals who do not have ancestral ties to them and were not born in their territory.
    In short, I'm fine with Jamaica prohibiting individuals with no birth or ancestral ties to Jamaica from representing the country, but Jamaica must not be the only nation to do so. If someone gains UK citizenship and becomes world class footballer but a) wasn't born in England and b) has no English heritage, then he too must be prohibited from representing England.

    Do that and we've got a deal.

    Not, it amounts to a very simple rebuttal of your original argument, which was that it was absurd to allow qualification via one's grandparents. I point out the fact that the majority of nations find this quite a reasonable basis for allowing citizenship in order to show that this is not considered particularly absurd by international standards. Your claim that jus sanguinis qualification via grandparents doesn't have any substantive backing.

    That's correct: a dog born in a stable is not necessarily a horse.

    I don't care what the National Front had to say.

    Aside from lacking sentience, prehistoric fish constitute no known ethnic, cultural, or national identity and therefore have no place in this discussion.

    Fair effort, though. You sought to totally trivialize and demean the bonds that form a legitimate transnational ethnic community (one with a very large presence in your nation) and imply that the consideration that members of this and other such communities give to their heritage is daft, irrational, and irrelevant. You did a decent job: you've let them all know how stupid they are for valuing their own heritage in the way they do, and made it clear that you know better than they do when it comes to what matters in their formation of identity.

    I'm sure the many members of various diasporas residing in England who take pride in their heritage would find your analysis quite compelling and thoughtful. I'm sure they'll also greatly appreciate your insistence that their valuation of their heritage is arbitrary/worthless and your claim that their identification has absolutely nothing to do with their personal experience (which I'm sure you're intimately familiar with).

    10/10, bro. Great banter.
     
  16. Jenks

    Jenks Member+

    Feb 16, 2013
    Club:
    --other--
    You're just repeating your false equivalency. The streamlined immigration policy that most countries (you claim without substantiating) employ has absolutely nothing necessarily to do with how people identify or how football supporters view the issue. A national government allows people to apply for citizenship through grandparentage because they assume such people will integrate and assimilate more easily than other immigrants will, not because they assume these people identify with their nation first and foremost above any other. You're comparing rules set out by institutions that do so for very different reasons, which makes no sense.

    A bizarre approach for what is essentially an immigrant nation. Your rationale means that your first ancestor to tie you to Jamaica, being an immigrant, wasn't even Jamaican by your standards.
     
  17. ChristianSur

    ChristianSur Member+

    May 5, 2015
    Club:
    Sheffield Wednesday FC
    Brilliant. I'm sure it was genuinely that difficult to understand the point and you're not just obfuscating to avoid it. Thankfully, though, I was lying: I don't identify as a prehistoric fish. I actually identify as a person from Thornton Heath. I wasn't born or raised there, but my mum was and she's told me stories about Croydon ice rink so, you know - good as. Any clearer?

    Wait, I did all that? I thought I was just ridiculing a grandiose and unsustainable statement about the permanence and total inheritability of identity that was formed initially through experience. Because, as Jenks points out, "Jamaican" identity isn't a matter of genetics, is it? No more than English identity is. We're both immigrant nations with patchwork gene pools (like most if not all countries) and our national identities, inasmuch as they can be determined, are effectively the sum total of the experiences of the people who make up and have made up our countries.

    And this is the point, really. People who grow up in England (the territory) are part of England (the populace of that territory) in a very literal sense. They're part of a common project. Their day-to-day experience is conditioned by the other people of England, and they in turn form part of the day-to-day experience of the other people of England. So they may have inherited certain behaviours and values from their parents and even grandparents, but those inheritances and expressions of those inheritances become part of the culture of England. That doesn't detract from individuals' identity or their sense of a community within a community; it just means that their literal Englishness is a concept broad and human enough to encompass their individual traits and their back-story. Personally, I like it that way. I think we should embrace that idea more and more, because it means that there can be no hierarchy of belonging.

    The alternative is to hark back to divisive notions of ethnic nationalism which mainstream society generally seems happy to leave in the past, but which always conveniently come back into fashion when fans of a national football team want to improve that team with players from halfway across the world. There are other, practical reasons to disallow this from happening - such as the incentive for FAs to do the best possible work in grassroots football which is severely weakened when you allow them to pick their senior national team from the fruits of someone else's grassroots game - but if you want to talk about identity then my wish is that Englishness should be seen as much as possible as something wide, inclusive, and matter-of-fact, and that attempts to separate out a Jamaican diaspora and say that it exists outside of Englishness runs contrary to that. It exists, of course, but when it exists in England, it is part of England.

    International norms relating to citizenship are not apposite because, quite simply, you can only play for one national football team. It's not just a matter of saying "I have links to this country", but "my links to this country take precedence over my links to any other". And when your links to another country are that you've lived within it and been a part of the populace for your entire life and continue to do so, and still you prefer to artificially separate yourself from that, then that's divisive and frankly it's poisonous.
     
  18. Athlone

    Athlone Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Jamaica
    Thank you!

    Not at all! You were very clear.

    That's a crying shame. I'd not met a prehistoric fish before and I'd hoped to pick your brain about the lifestyle.
    Oh well. C'est la vie.

    Crystal.

    Yes.

    Not what I saw.

    ...experiences which do not exist in a vacuum. Those experiences shape your mode of thought, your movement, your language, your perception of your own identity, and yes, your makeup of inherent traits and their expression. Those experiences become a part of you, inside and out, and they can be inherited. They make what you are.

    This is why I can look at some English-Jamaican youth and identify him or her as a fellow diasporan without having had much in the way of prior information, even though said English-Jamaican was not born or raised in Jamaica, has spent their entire life in the UK, and actually is two generations removed from the island. Unique things often stand out, and those things are the direct product of their heritage.

    Jamaica is far from the only diaspora like this. You can say the same for the Chinese, Surinamese, or other diasporas wherever they are. People across diasporas, separated by sizable gulfs in time and space, continue to have much in common (both in a nurture and nature sense). Multiple centuries or more of conditioning a people in isolation does tend to breed unique traits, and those traits are visible in people whose heritage is rooted in that history.

    I didn't say that English-born and raised Jamaican diasporans were not English. I accept the notion that they are a part of England.
    I don't accept the notion (promoted by Jenks and TRS-T) that they are therefore no longer Jamaican.

    Yes, you got me. My nationalism is purely the product of an intense, one-track desire to improve my nations lot in a game and nothing else. It has nothing at all to do with my own personal experience and has never been applied to matters unrelated to said game. I don't advocate for the greater unity of the diaspora in a social, cultural, or economic sense, nor would I advocate for said unity with the intention of improving my ancestral homeland's economic or political state. In fact, my nationalism has very little to do with any genuine desire to uplift my nation in any meaningful way.

    No, I just want my country to have a better shot of fielding 11 men who can kick a ball around better than 11 other men on a patch of grass. That's it.

    Brilliant deduction, bro.

    This implies that any FA would forego the chance to build the most efficient productive local grassroots (resulting in a large supply of highly capable domestically born and raised talents) if it was available. That's a poor implication.

    Incentive and actual practical ability are different things that are not necessarily correlated - one may have a strong incentive to do something even as they completely lack the practical ability to make it happen. The incentive for FAs to do that grassroots work already exists and is entirely unaffected by the integration of diasporan players.

    It can exist in connection to England as a part of a wider English cultural fabric.

    What it cannot do is eliminate or undermine the value of the Jamaican diasporas unique heritage. That connection to England can be important, but no more so than the ancestral and cultural legacy behind that person. This English connection must not be used to demean or dismiss that ancestral and cultural legacy.
     
  19. ChristianSur

    ChristianSur Member+

    May 5, 2015
    Club:
    Sheffield Wednesday FC
    Then you were mistaken and jumped to a lot of erroneous conclusions which you don't seem very keen to back down from. That's your problem though, so I won't repeat myself, since I think the rest of the discussion is more interesting.

    Of course, and there's also a large "English diaspora" in the United States, made up almost entirely of people who call themselves Americans. However, populations in general don't remain self-contained to the extent that they have done historically. More pertinently, Anglo-Jamaicans self-evidently haven't remained self-contained. Certainly my ideas of nationhood and national identity have been shaped by that fact.

    To be clear, I wasn't ridiculing the idea that you can inherit certain traits, values, or practices from your grandparents, which is plainly true. I was responding to the following statement:

    "Jamaicans are defined by the roots/heritage, which are forever tied to Jamaica. Thus, all Jamaicans come from Jamaica. Their ultimate end location is irrelevant to that fact."

    "Forever"? Really?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that you're including in "Jamaicans" people who were born and raised in England or elsewhere but have an ancestral link to Jamaica, however distant. You're stating that those people "come from Jamaica" as if that's their ultimate point of origin, but clearly that isn't the case. They personally come from England (or elsewhere), and their ancestral lines come through Jamaica from somewhere else. It's a point on a journey and not without meaning, but just as communal identities inevitably coalesce over the time that a population spends together, they also inevitably become diluted by other influences in individuals who are separate from that community. A person who is born and raised in community X may have many of the communal traits, but their children, raised in community Y, will inherit some of those X traits from their parents and others from the rest of their Y environment, and so on down the generations until the influence of X is either so diluted by the influence of Y that it's barely perceptible, or has spread so widely throughout Y that it's indistinguishable as an external trait.

    This is why I don't consider myself an Iberian or a Norseman or a Beaker person "forever", despite the fact that some of my ancestors probably were - and the fact that I'm not actually sure where my ancestors were from further illustrates the point. It's why I don't see myself as Jewish in any meaningful way, although some of my recent-ish ancestors definitely were - and again, the fact that I wasn't even aware of this until well into adulthood further illustrates the point. Of course, Anglo-Jamaicans are likely to have Jamaican ancestry rather more recent than my Beaker-culture or even Jewish ancestry, but when you're talking in terms of "forever", you're setting up a framework in which neither one is any more or less absurd than the other. There is no "forever" when we're talking about the very separable bonds between individual and community or between culture and territory.

    Bit of a rambling response, admittedly, but hopefully you can understand what I'm saying. In short, I'm not denying the existence of cultural heritage and I agree that it's important to everyone's individual identity, but I can't make much sense of the absolute and ostensibly eternal way that you framed it.

    I can't speak for anyone else so I'll leave this too, except to say that I didn't have the impression that they were saying anything so absolute.

    Fair enough; if you're specifically concerned about your ancestral homeland's economic or political state over and above that of other countries that you don't live in, then perhaps you actually are much more wedded to ethnic nationalism than I am. That might explain the difference in perspectives.

    I take it you've never encountered the FAI. It's quite widely acknowledged by Irish fans that they do dick-all to improve the poor state of grassroots provisions in Ireland, but because they can paper over the cracks by calling up a dozen English-raised players at any given time, they don't come under as much scrutiny as they would if their negligence had high-profile consequences.

    I can't say the same for the Jamaican FA because I simply don't know how competent they are, but this isn't some fanciful theory. It's observable reality.

    Eh. It'll fade over time just like my probable ancestral fondness for fjords and crockery. The ancestral and cultural legacy behind even a fifth generation Anglo-Jamaican will take in four generations of people who grew up surrounded by England before it even touches on Jamaica.

    And if I'm ever lucky enough to move to Jamaica and raise children there, I hope that my descendants will consider themselves fully part of the country that is, in a simple and everyday way, their actual home. I hope they'll be accepted as such, and I hope they won't have English people with the best of intentions insisting that they're actually English first and foremost, and driving wedges into a society that they really have no business interfering with, since they don't bear the potentially serious consequences of that sort of avoidable division.

    And that's why I want Nathan Redmond to play for England. That is what we were talking about, isn't it? It's been a while.
     
  20. ChristianSur

    ChristianSur Member+

    May 5, 2015
    Club:
    Sheffield Wednesday FC
    I have a horrible feeling this conversation is going to take up a huge amount of my time if I let it, so I'll bow out now, let you have the last word (however insulting you see fit to make it - have fun), and then we can both move on. All the best.
     
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  21. Athlone

    Athlone Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    Jamaica
    Good talk.
     
    ChristianSur repped this.
  22. W.A.S.P.

    W.A.S.P. Member+

    Sep 20, 2012
    St. Louis
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    So... any word on the Jack Grealish saga?
     
  23. andals

    andals Member

    Jun 13, 2015
    I'm more concerned about Crowley.
     
  24. PoliteSquats

    PoliteSquats Member

    Apr 13, 2015
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
  25. W.A.S.P.

    W.A.S.P. Member+

    Sep 20, 2012
    St. Louis
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    I don't really care about Ronan. Ireland can have him.
     

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