Novo's Scotland ambitions dashed

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The Independent Football

Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith has quashed Nacho Novo's dream of playing for Scotland.

Rangers' Spanish striker hit the headlines last week by claiming he would probably accept a call to represent his adopted country.

The SFA at first confirmed Novo, who has lived in Scotland for seven years, would be considered for selection if he successfully applied for a British passport.

And national team boss George Burley this week refused to rule out picking the 29-year-old, although he warned care had to be taken over adopting nationalised citizens.

However, in a statement issued to PA Sport, Smith insisted the SFA will be returning to their original Home Nations' agreement that players will only be eligible to play for Scotland if they qualify through a grandparent.

"There has been some confusion and much debate in recent days about whether or not Nacho Novo can play for Scotland," Smith said.

"On one hand, the Fifa regulations say that George Burley can pick eligible players who hold a British passport - and on the other we have the gentlemen's agreement with the other Home Associations that says that we will pick players based on their blood line.

"I have today sought to clarify the issue.

"We have had discussions with the other associations in the past couple of days and I've found out that everyone is adhering to our agreement and that, subsequently, we're all going down the line that will be bloodline at the moment.

"Now at some stage in the future, one or more of us may change our opinion on that - we may get together and change our decision and go for the full Fifa regulation - but at the moment, we're all sticking to the gentleman's agreement."

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