Aston Villa target has transfer to England blocked by FIFA - and is then banned for a year!
Published 08:41 08/12/09 By Alan Nixon
FIFA have astonishingly blocked Aston Villa's signing of top Australian youngster Reece Caira - and banned him for the next year.
The 16-year-old midfielder was told by the game's governing body that his transfer from Down Under has not been accepted and he cannot play any form of football until he is 18 in January 2011.
Amazingly Caira has a British passport, his dad is English and his mum half-Irish but is ruled out of playing for Villa because of FIFA's crazy rules.
Now Villa and the FA are seeking an explanation from Sepp Blatter's organisation in a potentially landmark case - although they will take months to even get an appeal heard.
Caira moved to England with his family a year ago and Villa offered him a contract after he impressed on trial. But now he has become a political pawn, with the Australian Federation fighting his move.
Furious dad Phil said last night: "I was born in Stevenage and we often came home to see family and football. Reece saw his first Premier League game when he was nine.
"I realise FIFA have these rules to stop African kids being exploited, but we are a British family. Now Reece won't be able to play serious football unless he goes back to Australia without us. How can that be right?"
Villa have put lawyers on the case and believe that FIFA may be breaking EC laws by stopping Caira from playing football for them.