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Barnes’ Call-Up Hopes Dealt Blow

Barnes’ Call-Up Hopes Dealt Blow

Ashley Barnes’ hopes of playing for Austria have been dashed with government ministers stating he doesn’t meet naturalisation criteria.

Franco Foda, head coach of the Austrian national team, was at Turf Moor on Saturday and saw the Burnley hitman score the Clarets’ winner against Tottenham.

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Foda was ready to select Barnes, whose grandmother came from Klagenfurt, for next month’s European Championship qualifiers against Poland and Israel but Austria’s council of ministers announced earlier this week that he did not ‘meet the essential criteria for naturalisation’.

The 29-year-old, who played for Austria at Under-20 level, had said he would have been only too happy to accept a senior call from Foda – but that opportunity now appears to have gone.

Philipp Trattner, the council of ministers head of sport, said: “His previous sporting achievements have no relation to Austria, in particular they have not been provided over a relevant period in Austria. His Austrian roots don’t matter.”

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