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Thread: Noe Baba

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    Fair enough, that could get into personal details. You're right in that we don't know his citizenship status (Cameroon or Irish) and that this is getting too much into speculation. But I'm more interested in if FIFA require a residency requirement for minors who acquire a new nationality or not. (5 years for over 18's)

    Since naturalisation for minors is granted at the discretion of the minister for justice and equality, I'm guessing that FIFA allow it as a permanent residency (for minors) since there is no residency requirement, although that would go against why the residence rules were brought in (Qatar etc) and would leave it potentially open to exploitation by countries who grant passports to U'18 prospects.

    Comparing naturalised citizens to Irish citizens from birth is apples and oranges. Or else you might as well be comparing them to Robbie Keane and Richard Dunne who like our northern-born players are Irish citizens from the moment of their birth. There is a difference between permanent nationality and acquiring a new one as the FIFA statues make clear and all criteria need to be met.

    Noe's case is a new one for Irish football. He is a trailblazer in many respects and I think it's fair to discuss the rules of qualification for the national team. I also see that one of the conditions on granting naturalisation is the intention to continue to live within the state. Noe, like all our top players has/is moved/moving abroad and will probably not live permanently in Ireland for at least 20 years if not longer, many players never return.
    Last edited by Irwin3; 16/11/2012 at 10:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irwin3 View Post
    Comparing naturalised citizens to Irish citizens from birth is apples and oranges. Or else you might as well be comparing them to Robbie Keane and Richard Dunne who like our northern-born players are Irish citizens from the moment of their birth
    I used Gibson and Kearns because of the controversary/legal angle. I could have used any of the second or third generation players. If Baba or James McCarthy qualify for Irish citizenship, and are happy to play for their country. That's all that should matter

    Baba playing in the u19 qualifiers shows that UEFA (and therefore FIFA) acknowledge he's eligible.

    If he later decides to play for Cameroon. So be it.

    I also believe you're overthinking the citizenship angle from the Department of Justice. Once someone gains Irish citizenship, they are no longer 'tracked' by any body in that department. SO if Baba leaves for the UK, they won't know/care enough to revoke it.
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    I don't think you're understanding why I see this as an interesting case. Noe is as far as I'm aware the first or at the least highest-profile player for Ireland to (presumably) be a naturalised citizen. The FIFA statues are unclear on players in this situation, although as pointed above players from other nations have apparently been in a similar situation and minors are assumed to be given leeway (or fulfill the 5 years residency before they turn 18 maybe?).

    It's not about qualifying for Irish citizenship. There is a difference between permanent nationality and acquiring a new one.
    -Born in Ireland (post 2005 parents have to meet certain requirements). Irish citizen from birth.
    -Born abroad to an Irish citizen parent. Irish citizen from birth.
    -Born abroad to an Irish grandparent. Have the automatic right to register in the foreign births register as an Irish citizen.

    Hence Robbie Keane (born in Ireland), Darron Gibson (Born in Derry - eligible for NI as well), Kevin Foley (Born in England to Irish parents - eligible for England as well), James McCarthy (born in Scotland to an Irish grandfather - eligible for Scotland as well) all qualify on the same premise, ie their automatic right to be an Irish citizen.

    I'm not overthinking it I'm just wondering how it can be exploited. I believe Noe has spent a good deal of his formative years (5+ years) in Ireland and wanting to play for Ireland which is fine, but since the citizenship to minors is discretionary, I'll put up an extreme case.

    Parent(s) move to Ireland from country X and are naturalised. Child remains in country X until this time and then joins parents in Ireland aged 15 say. Parent(s) then petition for child to be granted naturalisation. Approved. Child then aged 16 moves to a football club in england. Should such a player be eligible for Ireland? This all comes back to the wording of the FIFA statutes. Over 18's who acquire a new nationality require 5 years residence in a new country, yet for minors this is not documented or possibly waived entirely. This is where I'd like more clarity.
    Last edited by Irwin3; 16/11/2012 at 11:09 AM.

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    In this case there is no issue.

    This child's eligibility for Irish citizenship is not based on residency therefore there is no issue for him in moving to Britain after the granting of Irish citizenship. It would be a different case if say he moved here at 15 and his parents WERE NOT naturalised citizens.
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    Supposedly Roberto Martinez wants him to play for Scotland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BonnieShels View Post
    In this case there is no issue.

    This child's eligibility for Irish citizenship is not based on residency therefore there is no issue for him in moving to Britain after the granting of Irish citizenship. It would be a different case if say he moved here at 15 and his parents WERE NOT naturalised citizens.
    I don't think you understand. The parent(s) have to fulfill the residency requirements and are then naturalised. They then apply for the child to be naturalised which is given at the discretion of the minister and in good faith that they intend to continue to reside in the state.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irwin3 View Post
    I don't think you're understanding why I see this as an interesting case. Noe is as far as I'm aware the first or at the least highest-profile player for Ireland to (presumably) be a naturalised citizen.
    He's not the first. The Nigerian born lad (who later played for Bray) was stopped playing for the u19s before his citizenship was one of the first (apologies for forgetting his name

    It's not about qualifying for Irish citizenship. There is a difference between permanent nationality and acquiring a new one.
    Not in terms of citizenship. I don't want to be facetius here but there numerous ways of acquirring citizenship and having the right to be an Irish citizen doesn't neccasirily make you own. Even within the sphere of non Irish born there are many, many ways (including the likes of FBR etc)

    I believe Noe has spent a good deal of his formative years (5+ years) in Ireland and wanting to play for Ireland which is fine, but since the citizenship to minors is discretionary
    Not true in all cirumstances (in the case of family re-uniifcation all family members treated the same)

    Parent(s) move to Ireland from country X and are naturalised. Child remains in country X until this time and then joins parents in Ireland aged 15 say. Parent(s) then petition for child to be granted naturalisation. Approved. Child then aged 16 moves to a football club in england. Should such a player be eligible for Ireland?
    In that example the child wouldn't be granted Irish citizenship. Remember that the parents would effectively be living in Ireland for 7 years before they are approved for citizenship. In this extreme case, the practice of what happens far outweighs the makey up scenario

    Thats kinda my point about you over thinking it. It doesn't really matter if he 'should' be eligible, because the scenario simply wouldn't happen
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    Just a couple of points.

    -When I'm mentioning 'permanent nationality' I'm referring to the language used in the FIFA statutes. This is why the criteria exist as they differentiate between those who have a permanent nationality and those who acquire a new one.

    -How do you know it wouldn't happen? It's at the discretion of the minister. What is the age/residence of minor requirement? One isn't stated hence the use of the word discretion. The minister makes the decision, no?

    And I repeat, this only comes up because the requirements for minors acquiring a new nationality aren't stated by FIFA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irwin3 View Post
    I don't think you understand. The parent(s) have to fulfill the residency requirements and are then naturalised. They then apply for the child to be naturalised which is given at the discretion of the minister and in good faith that they intend to continue to reside in the state.
    I do understand perfectly. It is you who are confusing the eligibility statutes and Irish citizenship law.

    The hypothetical scenario you discuss whilst unlikely is covered by the FIFA statutes.

    Player X is not entitled to Irish Citizenhip by virtue of residency, he is entitled to it by virtue of having an Irish Citizen parent. In that case he doesn't fall foul of the FIFA statute and can play for Ireland.
    That his parent is granted citizenship by virtue of residency is irrelevant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irwin3 View Post
    Just a couple of points.

    -When I'm mentioning 'permanent nationality' I'm referring to the language used in the FIFA statutes. This is why the criteria exist as they differentiate between those who have a permanent nationality and those who acquire a new one.

    -How do you know it wouldn't happen? It's at the discretion of the minister. What is the age/residence of minor requirement? One isn't stated hence the use of the word discretion. The minister makes the decision, no?

    And I repeat, this only comes up because the requirements for minors acquiring a new nationality aren't stated by FIFA.
    18 usually!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BonnieShels View Post
    Player X is not entitled to Irish Citizenhip by virtue of residency, he is entitled to it by virtue of having an Irish Citizen parent. In that case he doesn't fall foul of the FIFA statute and can play for Ireland.
    That his parent is granted citizenship by virtue of residency is irrelevant.
    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Irwin3 View Post
    -How do you know it wouldn't happen? It's at the discretion of the minister. What is the age/residence of minor requirement? One isn't stated hence the use of the word discretion. The minister makes the decision, no?
    The application for citizenship on behalf of a minor would be granted automatically, if the parent(s) making the application are already naturalised citizens.

    Quote Originally Posted by geysir View Post
    You only explained a scenario whereby the kid could have assumed a new nationality.
    I provided the logical explanation for his eligibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by geysir View Post
    You didn't explain how this new nationality 'harmonised' with FIFA's eligibility criteria, nor did you offer any precedents.
    Fly, you fell short, yet again
    It's obvious how his nationality harmonises with FIFA's eligibility criteria, through Article 5 (1).
    Last edited by The Fly; 16/11/2012 at 3:10 PM. Reason: correction

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    Quote Originally Posted by BonnieShels View Post
    I do understand perfectly. It is you who are confusing the eligibility statutes and Irish citizenship law.

    The hypothetical scenario you discuss whilst unlikely is covered by the FIFA statutes.

    Player X is not entitled to Irish Citizenhip by virtue of residency, he is entitled to it by virtue of having an Irish Citizen parent. In that case he doesn't fall foul of the FIFA statute and can play for Ireland.
    That his parent is granted citizenship by virtue of residency is irrelevant.
    I don't think that is correct. I'm pretty sure that to claim citizenship through descent the parent has to be a citizen at the time of the child's birth. I'm pretty sure these are all naturalisation cases with the children of naturalised parent(s) being given citizenship at the discretion of the minister.

    If I'm wrong then I will hold my hands up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BonnieShels View Post
    18 usually!

    What are you on about? We are talking about minors being given citizenship. Noe Baba is 16 presumably with an Irish passport as apparently UEFA will 100% have verified it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irwin3 View Post
    I don't think that is correct. I'm pretty sure that to claim citizenship through descent the parent has to be a citizen at the time of the child's birth. I'm pretty sure these are all naturalisation cases with the children of naturalised parent(s) being given citizenship at the discretion of the minister.

    If I'm wrong then I will hold my hands up.
    They are at the discretion of the Minister and they are almost always granted (from my experience with my clients). It's a formality.

    And again Player X's eligibility for Ireland is based on his citizenship which HE DID NOT acquire through residency which means he does not fall foul of the Statutes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Irwin3 View Post
    What are you on about? We are talking about minors being given citizenship. Noe Baba is 16 presumably with an Irish passport as apparently UEFA will 100% have verified it.
    Minors by virtue of being minors are usually under 18.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BonnieShels View Post
    They are at the discretion of the Minister and they are almost always granted (from my experience with my clients). It's a formality.

    And again Player X's eligibility for Ireland is based on his citizenship which HE DID NOT acquire through residency which means he does not fall foul of the Statutes.
    The Qatar boys were given citizenship not based on residency, weren't they? Hence forcing FIFA to change the rules in the first place and adding the 5 year residency requirement for people acquiring a new nationality...
    Last edited by Irwin3; 16/11/2012 at 12:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BonnieShels View Post
    Minors by virtue of being minors are usually under 18.
    Very clever. I meant was there a residency requirement as a minor, ie what would have been the last age they could have entered to meet any such requirement. Apparently there is none.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irwin3 View Post
    So the concensus appears to be that it's a statute black hole where minors who acquire a new nationality are given some kind of leeway. Seems strange to me as what's to stop the likes of Qatar targeting under 18 prospects and giving them passports?
    Good point.

    Are we sure that his parents are naturalised citizens in the first place? Not sure when Noe or his family arrived in Ireland. Doesn't the whole process require at least 5 years continuous legal residency plus a year or two on top of that to process? Then once they received it, the processing would presumably start for the child?
    Have a feeling he's lived in Castlebar since he was a toddler, for some reason, but open to correction on that...

    Quote Originally Posted by geysir View Post
    If he was a Cameroon citizen, as is very likely (jus soli or jus sanguis), he loses that when taking up a new nationality.
    If events did transpire that such a player wanted to play for Cameroon, he would have to (re)apply for Cameroonian citizenship.
    Indeed, you're correct. Assuming Baba is indeed an Irish citizen, he isn't a citizen of Cameroon at present, if ever he was, as Cameroon does not permit the possession of dual citizenship. Would the fact he possesses just Irish citizenship have any bearing on his eligibility? For example, article 8(2) states:

    "If a Player who has been fielded by his Association in an international match in accordance with art. 5 par. 2 permanently loses the nationality of that country without his consent or against his will due to a decision by a government authority, he may request permission to play for another Association whose nationality he already has or has acquired."

    That is in relation to players switching association, however.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dodge View Post
    He's not the first. The Nigerian born lad (who later played for Bray) was stopped playing for the u19s before his citizenship was one of the first (apologies for forgetting his name
    Ismahil Akinade? Didn't Bray have another Nigerian-born player in their squad recently who I'm pretty sure also played for us at under-age level?

    Quote Originally Posted by BonnieShels View Post
    Player X is not entitled to Irish Citizenhip by virtue of residency, he is entitled to it by virtue of having an Irish Citizen parent. In that case he doesn't fall foul of the FIFA statute and can play for Ireland.
    That his parent is granted citizenship by virtue of residency is irrelevant.
    So, Baba is eligible to play for us but his father wouldn't be, assuming his father was granted Irish citizenship by virtue of residence, for the sake of argument?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fly View Post
    It's obvious how his nationality harmonises with FIFA's eligibility criteria, through Article 15 (1).
    That's now article 5(1). Fly, you fell short, yet again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Irwin3 View Post
    I'm pretty sure that to claim citizenship through descent the parent has to be a citizen at the time of the child's birth.
    Pretty sure that's correct: http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en...r_descent.html

    If either of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, then you are automatically an Irish citizen, irrespective of your place of birth.

    ...

    If your parent derived Irish citizenship in another manner, for example, through marriage, adoption or naturalisation, further information can be obtained from your nearest Irish embassy or consulate.
    That implies Irish citizenship is not automatically inherited from parents who are naturalised Irish citizens; it is dependent on some other criteria, in other words. Residence possibly? Anyone got the number for the feckin' embassy in London?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyInvincible View Post
    Ismahil Akinade? Didn't Bray have another Nigerian-born player in their squad recently who I'm pretty sure also played for us at under-age level?
    Was that Emeka Onwubiko? Think he was at Bray for a while anyway, was supposed to be on trial at Man City at one point.
    no idea what he's doing now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannyInvincible View Post
    Have a feeling he's lived in Castlebar since he was a toddler, for some reason, but open to correction on that...
    Since he was 10, but we don't know how long his parent/parents are here.

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