FIFA Approves Sarki for the Haitian National Soccer Team

Emmanuel Sarki, Nigerian-born in the African state of Kaduna in 1987, has been unable to qualify for Nigeria's Super Eagles National Team. As a minor, he represented the Golden Eaglets and the Flying Eagles of Nigeria, and made it to the Under-17 World Cup in 2003. But since reaching his majority has been traded around without much success from England's Chelsea club to Belgium and Israel, before Poland's Wisla Krakow club accepted him as a midfielder.


A breakthrough for Sarki's soccer career happened recently when FIFA, the international soccer governing board, qualified him to play for the Haiti National Team when they play a friendly against Chile at Fort Lauderdale's Lockhart Stadium in September. He became eligible when FIFA learned his great grandparents are from Haiti and cleared him.

Sarki has undergone what many soccer players experience when trying to qualify for a national team, the requirements of acquiring citizenship in the country where they are trying to qualify. For example, Nigerian striker, Kehinde Fatai, could not continue playing for Romania's national team because he had not acquired Romanian citizenship before he came to the country to play.

Under FIFA rules, players must obtain citizenship in the country where the team they wish to qualify for plays while still playing for their present team. In Fatai's case, he failed to obtain Romanian citizenship while playing for Nigeria's Flying Eagles. Lucky Sarki's Haitian roots were discovered qualifying him for Haiti's National Team.

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