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Oct 31, 2008

No go for Novo's Scottish dream

Scottish FA Chief Exec Gordon Smith has crushed Nacho Novo's hopes of appearing for his adopted country.

Glasgow Rangers' Spanish hitman claimed last week that he would respond to any call for him to appear for Scotland - the 29-year-old would be eligible for a British passport after having worked in the country for eight years.

Scotland boss George Burley had considered drafting in Novo, but the idea was rejected by SFA President George Peat.

"The situation is this," Smith said. "George Burley and George Peat are both correct.

"George Burley has said it is OK for a player to be picked who has a British passport. That is absolutely correct under the [Fifa] regulations.

"But a gentlemen's agreement was made some years back between the four associations.

"The associations agreed that we would only go back as far as grandparents, rather than a situation where somebody who has come to live in this country and has got a British passport.

"That agreement is still in place. I've had discussions with the other associations in the past four days and found out that everybody is still adhering to that."

However, Smith conceded that the status quo is not set in stone:

"At some stage in the future we may change that and go to the full Fifa regulations, which is that someone with a passport can play for the country in which he lives. But at the moment we are all sticking to the gentlemen's agreement."

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