Date: 8th November 2009 at 12:14pm
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FIFA rules quite clearly state that a player who has participated in an official match for one international team, can’t represent another.

Tyrone Mears is one player who now realises that law could just have scuppered his chances of ever playing for England or any other international side for that matter. His boy-hood dream has turned out to be a nightmare.

Why? Because it has been revealed that he played for Jamaica when in fact he wasn’t qualified to do so.

He was desperate for games at the time and when John Barnes, then manager of Jamaica asked if he wanted to play for the Reggae Boyz believing he qualified due to his Jamaican ancestry, Mears jumped at the chance.

Mears made his debut for Jamaica on 11 February 2009 against Nigeria, playing 71 minutes of the 0-0 draw at the New Den.

This was to be his only game when it was established that Mears long-lost father was in fact an African from Sierra Leone and not Jamaican.

The Stockport-born defender it turns out had done some research into his family and had been told his father had Jamaican roots

26 year old Mears speaking to the Daily Mirror commented:

‘It was an honest mistake on my part. I can’t believe the Jamaican FA didn’t check in the registration process!I was desperate for games at the time. When Barnes asked me about Jamaica I thought I’d see if I qualified.I gave the Jamaican FA my name, my father’s name and that was it. I didn’t have to submit my passport. I was shocked when a private investigator later told me my dad was in fact from Sierra Leone’

Mears mother was British and he was English born so he would have qualified to play for England had he held out for the unlikely call.

However all is not yet totally lost for Mears. He is appealing to FIFA to change his nationality to English

‘I just want the chance to be considered for England along with everyone else’

The chances though of catching the eye of Fabio Capello are of course somewhat remote but you never know. Playing for a Premier League club especially when you are playing well like he has for the Clarets this season could at least put him on the England manager’s radar.