Cesare Prandelli keen to widen Italy’s talent pool

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is hopeful of a law change that would allow children of immigrants to play for the country’s national teams before they turn 18.

Speaking at the Foreign Press Association, Prandelli said ”other nations are ahead of us in this department. I think and hope that soon these new Italians will have a chance to gain citizenship.”

Under current law, children of immigrants born in Italy can apply for citizenship only when they turn 18.

FIFA rules require that only citizens play for national teams.

Prandelli says he is monitoring the progress of ”two or three” players who fit into that category, although he wouldn’t name the individual players.

Milan and Italy striker Mario Balotelli was the child of an immigrant family, and had to wait until his 18th birthday to request Italian citizenship, as the Balotellis had not adopted him.