Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta is ineligible to play for England according to FIFA. England boss Fabio Capello and the FA thought Arteta, 28, qualified on residency grounds and the fact he had never appeared for his home country at senior level.

FIFA, though, have pointed to their article 18.1 and ruled him out of Capello’s plans, The Sun reports.

FIFA article 18. 1 (a) states: “At the time of [a player’s] first full or partial appearance in an international match in an official competition for his current Association, he must already have the nationality of the representative team for which he wishes to play.”

Arteta played for the Spanish Under-16 side in the European Championships and also in the FIFA Under-17 Championships before going on to play for Spain Under-21s.

The player encouraged the idea that he could play for England, but a FIFA spokesman said: “The rules are there for everyone to see.”

Author: isport