Valencia midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia has been given green light by FIFA to swap national allegiances to play for Central African Republic (CAR), the country’s football association announced on Wednesday. Kondogbia, 25, represented France from Under-16 level right the way through to full international level.
Friendlies with France
UPDATE : Valencia midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia has chosen to switch international allegiance from France to Central African Republic. The former U20 world cup winner will however be unable to make his debut in an #AFCON2019Q against Guinea on September 9th due to injury. pic.twitter.com/n9mJQ2Ptxf— 🅱🅰🅾JIS ™® (@ojobabatundeiso) 3 September 2018
After winning the U20 World Cup with France, he made his senior debut as a 20-year-old and went on to be capped five times. However, since all those appearances were in friendlies, and as the midfielder holds a dual nationality passport, he has been cleared to change his FIFA nationality - meaning he is now eligible to play for CAR.
CAR debut will have to wait
Kondogbia had been included by coach Raoul Savoy in the 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea in Conakry on Sunday. However, according to a statement by the CAR FA, Kondogbia will not be available for the Guinea encounter due to an ankle injury. Now, he is expected to make his debut for the African nation in October, for the 3rd and 4th qualifying days of the Africa Cup of Nations.
CAR set second in qualifying Group H after defeating Rwanda 2-1 in the opening group fixture in June 2017. Guinea top the group on goal difference after a 3-2 away win against Ivory Coast.
Kondogbia began his professional career at French club Lens before moving to Sevilla in 2012. After stints at Monaco and Inter Milan, the midfielder joined Valencia in August 2017.