BY Kyle McCarthy
FIFA has cleared Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem to feature for the United States and play in the upcoming Under-20 World Cup.
U.S. Soccer announced the decision on Wednesday afternoon and ended the protracted saga about Zelalem’s international fate in the process.
Zelalem needed to receive approval from FIFA to turn out for the U.S. after receiving his citizenship in December. He did not fulfill the immediate requirements of living five years in his adopted country prior to turning 18, but U.S. Soccer appealed his case to FIFA and successfully argued that Zelalem — also eligible to feature for Germany (his birthplace) and Ethiopia (his father’s native country) — should receive clearance based upon the specific circumstances in his case.
The decision paves the way for Zelalem to assume his place in the under-20 squad for the upcoming World Cup and subsequently state his claims for inclusion with the senior team in the future.