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Roy Hodgson suggestion could give West Ham star Declan Rice Bosman-esque status

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has made a suggestion which could give West Ham United star Declan Rice Bosman-esque status.

Rice has been making the headlines this week after pledging his international allegiance to England.

The midfielder a can of worms when he chose England over the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old had already won three senior Republic of Ireland caps in friendlies having played for his grandparents’ country since under-16 level.

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Mixed response to Rice decision

And his decision has received a mixed response from pundits and fans alike although most Hammers fans have backed their young hero wholeheartedly.

Rice has had to submit a formal request to FIFA to officially switch across.

And now former England boss Hodgson has made a suggestion which – if actioned – could result in Rice being the international equivalent of Jean-Marc Bosman.

The Belgian is famous the world over after his judicial challenge of the football transfer rules led to the Bosman ruling in 1995. The landmark judgement completely changed the way footballers are employed, allowing professional players to move freely to another club at the end of their contract.

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Hodgson suggestion could make Rice the new Bosman?

Now Hodgson has told Sky Sports that Ireland should push FIFA for a change in the rules over international allegiance.

“The rules come from FIFA and things have changed enormously from the days many, many years ago when actually pulling on a shirt for an amateur team or a schoolboy team virtually, almost commits you to that country for life,” Hodgson told Sky Sports.

“Now we’ve got to the stage where the pendulum has swung almost completely. In the sense that you can play as many Under 21 games as you like. You can even play as many senior team games as you like. Just as long as it doesn’t happen to be a qualifier or a game at a finals tournament.

“If you are Ireland and countries like that who have got a player who has been playing for them and suddenly they lose him to a rival nation it is a fact of life. If they want it changed they could lobby FIFA and make it a bit harder for players to play for two national teams while they are basically seniors. And when you are an Under 21 you can’t really be considered a junior.”

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Southgate may face Rice wait

England boss Gareth Southgate is preparing to name his squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers next month. The Three Lions take on Czech Republic and Montenegro.

According to Sky Sports Southgate is keen to call Rice up for those games.

But FIFA typically take around six weeks to action such requests. And that could block his selection as he would not even be allowed to train.

That could mean Rice makes his maiden squad for the Nations League semi-final against Holland, read full story here.

It is easy to see why there were countries fighting over Rice.

New statistics show he is currently the best midfielder in Europe’s top five leagues aged Under 21, read full story here.

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