Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi could switch international allegiance from England to Ghana ahead of the 2022 World Cup, if the Black Stars qualify.
Hudson-Odoi was born in London and has been capped three times for England at senior international level to date. But FIFA rules will still allow him to represent another country thanks to a 2020 update to the regulations.
A switch of allegiance is permitted as long as player has made no more than three appearances – including competitive qualifiers but excluding major tournaments – before turning 21.
Hudson-Odoi played in three Euro 2020 qualifiers for England while still a teenager. Were he to play just once more for England, he would be permanently locked in. But with his last appearance for the senior Three Lions side coming in 2019 and his ongoing struggle to nail down a place at Chelsea, his long-term prospects of being an England regular don’t look as promising as they once did.
Hudson-Odoi is eligible for Ghana and was reported in November to have turned down a recall to the senior England squad, which has served to keep his options open.
Speaking after Chelsea had won the FIFA Club World Cup over the weekend, the player refused to rule out the possibility of switching allegiance.
“I don't know. At the end of the day, we will wait until that time comes. At the same time, I've just got to focus on the club until we get that far,” he told the Evening Standard.
The crucial factor could be whether Ghana qualify for their fourth World Cup, having missed out in 2018. They face Nigeria over two legs next month in the final round of African qualifying. LondonWorld claims that victory there would be the push Hudson-Odoi needs to make his decision.
Ghana are no stranger to drafting foreign-born stars into their ranks, with Kevin-Prince Boateng called up late for the 2010 World Cup and again in 2014, despite playing only one qualifier.