Midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong will be available for Ghana at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations after his nationality switch was ratified by world football governing body Fifa.
The 20-year old, who is on loan at Charlton from Arsenal, represented England at U-16 and U-17 levels.
Ghana have been handed a massive boost just weeks before the Africa Cup of Nations. The world governing body has submitted all the documents required for the ex-England youth international’s switch to be approved its Player Status Committee for its endorsement.
But Frimpong has been given the go ahead to play for the country of his birth by Fifa after the Scottish FA submitted a letter confirming that Frimpong, who holds dual Ghanaian and British citizenship, has not played for them at competitive level last week.
Frimpong can now be picked for Ghana’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations campaign in South Africa next year.
It also formalizes an ambition for Frimpong that stretches back to two years ago when he declared “I have always said that, no matter what, I will always play for Ghana because I believe I am a Ghanaian”.
He added: “England has done a lot for me and my family but at the end of the day I can’t see myself playing for England because I am not English – I am from Ghana”.
However, Frimpong faces a tough task to force his way into Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah’s squad as Ghana’s midfield is thought to contain their best players.
Frimpong will be up against the hugely experienced duo of Anthony Annan and Derek Boateng for a place in central midfield as well the promising France-based Rabui Mohammed and Parma’s Afriyie Acquah.
He becomes the fifth player after goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey, Quincy Owusu Abeyie and Kevin-Prince Boateng to take advantage of Fifa’s rule change of nationality and switch to Ghana after representing an European country at youth level.