The dream of representing Australia is alive and well for rising Sydney FC star, Kofi Danning after the 18-year old was given permission to play for his adopted country overnight, by football’s governing body, FIFA.
The dream of representing Australia is alive and well for rising Sydney FC star, Kofi Danning after the 18-year old was given permission to play for his adopted country overnight, by football-s governing body, FIFA.
The Ghana-born striker is now available for selection in the Qantas Young Socceroos squad for the upcoming FIFA U20 World Cup, which kicks-off in Egypt at the end of next month.
“It means everything to me, it-s my dream to play for Australia,” said Danning. “I-ve been here most of my life and I-ve just been waiting for the all clear. I-m as happy as I-ve ever been in my life.”
“This is a big milestone for me. I-ve always wanted to represent Australia so to get the all clear to play for my country means the world to me.”
New player eligibility rules recently introduced by FIFA would have meant the talented teenager was unable to represent Australia at any official tournament until after he had spent five years here, beyond his 18th birthday. The FFA has been successful in gaining an exemption for Danning, however, clearing the young man who arrived from Ghana as a seven-year old to pull on the green and gold.
“It took such a long time but there are other people in the world in the same situation as me and FIFA has to handle those cases as well. To get mine done is just unbelievable. It-s amazing,” Danning explained.
With the way cleared for him to compete at the U20 World Cup Danning is now intent on continuing his recent run of good form and earning a place on the plane to Egypt.
“I-ve always been putting 100% into every game and always been positive in the approach to everything I do. As long as I give 100% I hope I can get chosen in the team to go away to Egypt,” he said.
“The experiences I-ve had with the (Young Socceroos) team have been very good and I think I-ve performed well. Hopefully if I keep performing the way I have been the coach will decide to choose me.”
Australian Coach, Jan Versleijen is due to name his squad for the 2009 FIFA U20 World Cup finals early next month.