Football: Holt's Irish hopes are dashed after mix-up

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GARY HOLT'S Northern Ireland career was over last night - before it even started.

The Kilmarnock midfielder was called into the squad for today's B international against Wales at Wrexham only to be told he would have to pull out after it was discovered he was not eligible. The player had claimed his father was from County Down, but the Irish Football Association checked and found out that he was referring to his stepfather and that his real parents are Scottish.

The IFA general secretary, David Bowen, insisted they had no alternative but to withdraw him. "We received a number of pieces of information that he was available because he had Ulster parentage," said Bowen. "But after a closer look it appeared his parents are not his natural parents and that he is adopted. We had no option but to play safe."

Squads, Digest, page 23

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