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FIFA clears Croatia U21 international Fran Karacic to switch allegiances to Australia

The ESPN panel in London are skeptical of Australia ahead of the World Cup with Bert van Marwijk's defensive mindset and an aging squad.

FIFA has cleared Croatia Under-21 international Fran Karacic to switch eligibility and play for Australia at the World Cup.

FIFA says the formal "change of association'' for Croatia-born Karacic, who is named in Australia's provisional squad, was completed on Thursday.

The 22-year-old defender is eligible for Australia because his father was born there.

FIFA lets players make one change of allegiance in their career before they play a senior competitive game for a national team.

Karacic seems certain to be included in coach Bert van Marwijk's 23-man squad next month in Russia to fill a need at right-back -- a spot the Australia boss recently admitted was a need for the team.

He helped Lokomotiva Zagreb finish fifth in the Croatian league this season.

Australia will play in Group C with France, Denmark and Peru.

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