Maybe you didn’t get your passport in time, or maybe you were one of the soccer hooligans from the UK who had to turn in their passports, but if you haven’t heard – Germany beat
Argentina in the World Cup Semi-Finals on Saturday by a score of 4-0. I watched the game surrounded by an Argentinean contingent and it was not any fun as they were all dejected. I am not a big soccer fan, but as I watched the game, I noticed something didn’t seem right…
Serdar Tasci, Marko Marin, Mesut Özil, Piotr Trochowski, Cacau, Mario Gomez, Miroslav Klose, and Lukas Podolski all play for the German National Team.
However, those names do not sound German at all! Did anyone check their passports? I began to question the countries of origin of many of the players. I decided to do a little research and I checked out the World Cup Team Germany roster on ESPN’s website . All in all, there are 23 players on the roster. Just about 50% of those players, 11 to be exact, have roots in other countries. The following is a list of German players and their ancestral roots:
Serdar Tasci – Turkey
Dennis Aogo – Nigeria
Jerome Boateng – Ghana
Sami Khedira – Tunisia
Marko Marin – Bosnia
Mesut Özil – Turkey
Piotr Trochowski – Poland
Cacau – Brazil
Mario Gomez – Spain
Miroslav Klose – Poland
Lukas Podolski – Poland
In contrast, the Argentinean players all appear to be Argentinean. See the World Cup Team Argentina roster on ESPN’s website.
As it turns out, Germany does in fact have several players with foreign passports. The rules are somewhat confusing, so I’m not going to bore you too much, but I will say that Germany acted within the rules set forth by FIFA.
The national teams of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are a special case. All of their “home countries” are part of one national state, the United Kingdom. There is no such thing as English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish citizenship.
A player holding a British passport is eligible to play for the country of his birth, the country of the birth of either of his natural parents or the country of birth of any of his natural grandparents.
In addition, under UK law, a player (or anyone else, for that matter) who was born abroad will become eligible for a British passport after five years of lawful residence in the country.
I don’t mean to suggest that Germany would not have won without their players who hold foreign passports, but I just find the whole thing rather interesting and confusing at the same time.
Whether or not you are a soccer player, if you need to get a US Passport or get a US Passport card, feel free to call Rush Passport™ 24 hours a day / 7 days a week at Tri-State Area 212- 643-9305, Toll Free: 1-877-937-7277 or Nationwide: 1-877-937-8472.