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BC-SOC--England-Rice

March 5, 2019
FIFA has approved defensive midfielder Declan Rice switching his international allegiance from Ireland to England. The 20-year-old Rice is of Irish heritage but was born in London. He has said he considers himself “to be of mixed nationality.”

LONDON (AP) — FIFA has approved defensive midfielder Declan Rice switching his international allegiance from Ireland to England.

With Irish heritage but born in London, the 20-year-old Rice has said he considers himself “to be of mixed nationality.”

The West Ham player last month ended months of uncertainty over which national team he would commit to by announcing his plans to play for England.

Rice has played three times for Ireland, but only in friendlies rather than competitive games. That allows for the nationality switch.

FIFA told The Associated Press on Tuesday that “the change of association has been approved.”

England reached the semifinals at last year’s World Cup and will play in the UEFA Nations League final four in June.

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