Jack Grealish gains FIFA's approval to represent England

Jack Grealish gains FIFA's approval to represent England

JACK GREALISH has finally been granted clearance to represent England, seven months after announcing his decision to switch allegiance from the Republic of Ireland.

On the back of a very promising season during the 2014-15 campaign, the Aston Villa midfielder became hot property in English football, prompting rave reviews from England manager Roy Hodgson.

Solihull-born Grealish represented Ireland from Under-15s through to Under-21s, but after Hodgson expressed his interest in calling him up, the 20-year-old eventually decided to switch to the country of his birth for senior level.

Ironically, Grealish’s form has somewhat deteriorated since September, with the youngster barely able to get a game Aston Villa, who look destined for relegation with just eight Premier League games remaining.

A FIFA statement said: “The single judge decided to accept the request of the Football Association and the player Jack Grealish based on article eight paragraph one in conjunction with article five paragraph three of the regulations governing the application of the FIFA statutes.”

For confirmation, article eight states: "If a player has more than one nationality, or if a player acquires a new nationality, or if a player is eligible to play for several representative teams due to nationality, he may, only once, request to change the Association for which he is eligible to play international matches to the Association of another country of which he holds nationality."

Grealish, who turned down a call-up offer from Martin O’Neill last summer, has made just 12 Premier League appearances for Villa this season, the last of which came against Sunderland on January 2.