Deprived of titles last season, powerhouse Global FC beefed up its lineup for the United Football League Cup starting next month with the acquisition of a Swedish first division veteran who could also suit up for the Philippine Azkals.
The 2014 UFL League titlists signed Filipino-Iranian midfielder Omid Nazari early this month as they continued to revamp their roster following a tumultuous season that also saw Global finish second to Ceres in the league and missing out on an AFC Cup berth.
Nazari has long been a target of Global chief executive Dan Palami who also hopes the midfielder can get the necessary requirements to play for the national team as his mother is a Filipino.
The 24-year-old Nazari, who saw action for Swedish powerhouse Malmo in 2011, has already played five friendly matches for the Iranian team during a training camp in 2012.
But since he did not play in an official competition, he is still eligible to switch “sporting nationalities.”
Nazari has a younger brother, Amin, who currently plays for Falkenbergs in the Swedish first division.
“Omid is already making an impact with the club in training,” said Palami. “He’s helping some of our local players improve and gain confidence. He will be a big help with his skills and experience, but I am also hoping to have him in the national team.”
Philippine Football Federation general secretary Ed Gastanes said Nazari would have to follow Fifa’s process to switch countries, starting with securing a Philippine passport.
“If he is indeed called up and decides to play for the Philippines, we have to file his case with the Fifa players’ status committee for him to switch sporting nationalities from Iran to the Philippines,” Gastanes said.
The PFF official said the federation did the same with Luke Woodland last year since the Fil-British midfielder saw action for England at the youth level.