Kenyan born Chelsea player Bobby Devyne is British

Kenyan born Chelsea player Bobby Devyne  is British

Kenyan born Chelsea player Bobby Devyne is British

Harambee Stars fans may be in for a disappointment to learn that Chelsea based youngster, Bobby Kirobi Devyne, may not don the national jersey after all. This is after Michezo Afrika exclusively learnt that the Kenyan born Devyne holds a British passport.

In an exclusive interview to Michezo Afrika from London, the youngster's mother, Nancy Devyne ,a native of Kiambu district ,was  skeptical at his son’s fate in the event of renouncing his British passport especially at this time when he is optimistic of signing a professional contract with the London based FA premier league champions Chelsea.

Bobby started playing soccer at the age of 8 and caught the Chelsea scouts’ eye in London while playing in a local youth championship. He first featured for the Chelsea youth academy in 2005 at the age of 13 and has since scored a number of goals for the side. Bobby’s latest achievement includes winning the youth FA cup with the Chelsea youth team in the last season of 2009/10.According to Nancy who holds his son’s dream at heart, Bobby is more than willing and aspires to play for his native country Kenya.

“Bobby is very willing to play for Kenya and I also wish that my son adorns Kenyan jerseys. Am glad there is positive response with people back home especially with the youth being motivated to work harder. Everything is possible with great determination” She says.

She is however concerned that neither She nor Chelsea has received any official communication from the Kenyan Soccer Federation regarding the issue and that She only heard about his son’s call up through our earlier article.

Nonetheless, Devyne’s mother is delighted that his son’s call up to the national team has elicited mixed reactions from a cross section of Kenyans most of whom are proud of her son’s achievement. To upcoming stars, Nancy advises,

“The Sky is the limit for our children if they work hard with the right motivation, discipline, guidance and support in their endeavors.”

According to Kenyan Immigration laws, Bobby still stands chance of representing Kenya at the international arena by virtue of being a citizen by birth and will be issued with a Kenyan passport without renouncing his British passport until he is 23 years of age. At that point he will be given an option to decide which citizenship between the two he would like to hold and presumably play for in future.

Bobby turns 18 in November this year and hopefully by age of 23 the proposed draft constitution which allows for dual citizenship would have seen light of day. Chapter three (16) of the proposed draft states, “A citizen by birth does not loose citizenship by acquiring citizenship of another country”

A recent example of this is Kevin Prince Boateng who played for the German under 21 national team but was cleared by world soccer governing body FIFA to change nationality in favor of Ghana. Kevin turned out for and was instrumental in Ghana's black star squad during the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The ball is in FKL's court to ensure that Harambee Stars ranking does not continue shattering the dreams of budding Kenyan talents like Macdonald Mariga and Bobby Devyne. A British government ruling demands that anybody wishing to play in the FA and is not a member of EU will have to abide by the regulation that states:

“The player’s country must be at or above 70th place in the official FIFA World Rankings when averaged over the 2 years preceding the date of the application”  

Early this year Mariga was denied permit to play for Manchester city as a result of the above clause a move that elicited angry reactions from Kenyan fans who are keen followers of the English Premier League.

Meanwhile, FKL’s Technical director Patrick Naggi has confirmed to Michezo Afrika that they are committed to tracking down Kenyan players in the diaspora with a view of giving them an opportunity to play for Harambee stars and has called upon those with any information to freely share so that we can all uplift soccer standards in the country.

Read more on : Harambee Stars

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