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FIFA denies Serbia bid to recruit Spain and Stoke forward Bojan Krkic

Bojan Krkic plays his club football for Stoke City.

ZURICH -- FIFA has denied Serbia's request to transfer former Barcelona forward Bojan Krkic's international eligibility because he already played a World Cup qualifying match for Spain.

That appearance in September 2008 was the only time Bojan, 26, represented Spain, where he was born. The Stoke player's father is Serbian.

FIFA says it referred the Serbian football federation to two rules governing players' national team eligibility.

Serbia made the request despite a long-established FIFA rule that locks in players with a national team after they appear in a competitive match.

Bojan, then aged 18, came on as a 65th-minute substitute in Spain's 4-0 win against Armenia in Albacete. Spain went on to win the 2010 World Cup.

Before FIFA announced its decision, Serbia coach Slavoljub Muslin told a news conference: "It's still early for me to think about it [Bojan]. People from the FFS [Football Association of Serbia] are working on getting a permit from FIFA so that Bojan can put on the Serbian shirt.

"If the reply is positive, I will count on him for the November games, but currently I am only considering players who have the right to play against Moldova and Austria in the World Cup qualifiers."

Serbia are in a six-team 2018 World Cup qualifying group that also includes Wales, Republic of Ireland and Georgia.

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