August 31 – The Albanian football federation has won a potentially landmark case against FIFA in court, proving that Big Brother doesn’t always succeed.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport has ruled that Empoli midfielder Nedim Bajrami (pictured) can switch national teams from Switzerland to Albania.
They upheld an appeal by Bajrami and the Albania FA clearing the 22-year-old to play for Albania in World Cup qualification games this week against Poland and Hungary in a group that also includes England.
Bajrami has Albanian family roots but grew up in Switzerland and represented its teams from youth level through to the Under-21s.
“The panel considered that Nedim Bajrami never played with the Swiss (senior) national team and already held Albanian nationality,” the court said.
FIFA rules allow dual-national players to change their eligibility once, but it had previously judged Bajrami did not have formal dual-nationality status when he began representing Switzerland.
CAS held a fast-track hearing by video-link last Tuesday to make a decision ahead of the international break.
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