Bajrami defeats FIFA in court and can pass for Albania
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) – In a victory against FIFA at the highest court in sport, Empoli midfielder Nedim Bajrami won the right to transfer the national teams from Switzerland to Albania on Monday.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport said its panel upheld Bajrami and the Albanian Football Association’s appeal against a FIFA judge who rejected their claim in May.
The urgent decision allows 22-year-old Bajrami to be selected for Albania in this week’s World Cup qualifying matches against Poland and Hungary. His group is currently led by England.
Bajrami has Albanian family roots but grew up in Switzerland and has represented his teams from the youth to under 21 level.
“The panel found that Nedim Bajrami never played for the Swiss (senior) national team and already had Albanian nationality,” the court said.
Bajrami parted ways with Switzerland in March when he declined selection for the U21 European Championship.
FIFA rules allow players with dual nationality to change their eligibility once, but it had ruled that Bajrami did not have official dual nationality status when he started representing Switzerland.
CAS held an expedited video link hearing last Tuesday to make a decision before the international break.
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