Tuesday 17 September 2019

'His heart is with Ireland, 150 per cent' - Ryan Johansson committed as FAI tackle loophole

Ryan Johansson. Photo: Getty
Ryan Johansson. Photo: Getty
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

Bayern Munich's Ryan Johansson is "150 per cent" committed to Ireland despite a loophole that has thrown his international future into doubt.

The 18-year-old, who started for Bayern in their Audi Cup defeat to Tottenham earlier this week, qualifies for Ireland through his mother Christine's parents who hail from Clare and Westmeath respectively. Christine herself was born in England before the family moved back to Mullingar. 

The talented attacking midfielder has represented Ireland at Under-19 level and is also capped for Luxembourg Under-21s.  Luxembourg now argue that because he didn't have an Irish passport at the time he played for them, he can't transfer to Ireland.

The FAI are currently in discussions with FIFA with the Johansson camp adamant he will be an Irish player.

"Luxembourg told us that as long as he didn't play in the first team, he could change," Christine told Independent.ie.

"Ryan is still 100 per cent set on playing for Ireland. His dad is Swedish and he even wants Ryan to follow his dream and play for Ireland. Ryan 150 per cent wants to play for Ireland.

"He was devastated when he heard there was a doubt. His heart is with Ireland."

Christine's comments come on the back of an interview in Swedish outlet Expressen today where Ryan is quoted as saying: "I would love to play for Sweden. It is one of the countries I come from.

"I know that the Irish Confederation [FAI] is trying to resolve the situation and at the same time Sweden is very interested. We'll see what happens in the next few months."

Johansson is in the Bayern squad for this weekend's Super Cup against Borussia Dortmund.

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