Court hears Irish north-south soccer divide case

Court hears Irish north-south soccer divide case

Published Jul. 19, 2010 1:51 p.m. ET

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has heard a case on the right to select Ireland's top young soccer players for international duty.

The Northern Ireland federation challenged on Monday what it believes is poaching by its southern neighbor, after recent political peace granted players dual nationality.

Northern Ireland appealed after FIFA allowed 18-year-old Daniel Kearns to switch allegiance to the Republic of Ireland despite not even having a grandparent born there, which is the usual minimal requirement for players to switch nationalities.

FIFA recognizes a 1998 political development allowing anyone born on the island of Ireland to claim a passport from either side.


The ruling is expected in several weeks.