The Spanish Football Federation have confirmed that they are unable to call up Diego Costa to the national team for this month’s World Cup qualifiers.
Speculation has been that the RFEF have been looking to clear red tape with FIFA over permission to call up the Atletico Madrid player, due to his having appeared twice in friendlies this year for Brazil.
Ahead of Friday’s squad to be called for the closing World Cup qualification games at home to Belarus and Georgia, the RFEF have reported that their efforts so far have proven unsuccessful.
However, the Spanish authorities confirm that the player has reported his desire to play for La Roja and on from this, a request has been made to the Brazilian Football Confederation to provide certification that they have not capped him in an official competition at any age category.
“The Atletico Madrid player Diego Costa will not be called up tomorrow by Coach Vicente del Bosque for the next national team squad, against Belarus and Georgia,” began the RFEF’s statement released this evening.
“FIFA have asked for some additional requirements to be met that are already in the pipeline, whilst the player has said today verbally to the Spanish Coach that his intention in the future is to play for the Spanish national team.
“In relation to the issue of the player Diego Costa’s eligibility, FIFA have responded in writing to say that as a general rule, it is the responsibility of the association that tries to call a player to examine if the player in question is eligible or not to play for their association teams.
“Notwithstanding the above, we wish to state that the player in question would be eligible to play for association teams in Spain only if he holds permanent Spanish nationality, if he has not participated in a match either wholly or in part in an official competition at any category of another association and if the player has adopted Spanish nationality during the course of his career, which seems to be in the case of the player in question, that he or one of his parents or grandparents were born in Spain, or that the player has lived in Spain for at least five continuous years after the age of 18.
“In this regard, it is noteworthy that the player is Spanish for all purposes and has been living and playing in Spain since August 31, 2007, although he requires a certificate from the Brazilian Confederation to confirm that Diego Costa has not played one competitive match with the Brazilian national team in any of their categories, which we have requested this afternoon, once the player had expressed his desire to play for Spain and at the disposal of Vicente del Bosque.”