Burley - No way for Howard
Scotland boss George Burley has admitted his disappointment at being unable to call on Brian Howard.
By Rob Parrish
Last Updated: 13/03/08 10:38am
Scotland boss George Burley has admitted his disappointment at being unable to call on Barnsley captain Brian Howard.
Howard had hoped to be able to qualify for Scottish selection through his Glaswegian father, but has been ruled out after it was discovered he represented England at Under 16 level.
Burley had been keeping tabs on the midfielder who scored the winning goal in The Tykes' shock FA Cup fifth round triumph over Liverpool at Anfield.
But he has now admitted defeat after contacting the English Football Association for clarification over Howard's history.
Burley told the Daily Record: "We were contacted by Brian's agent a few months ago, I went down to have a look at him and he impressed me. But unfortunately he doesn't qualify for Scotland.
"When Brian first came to our attentions we had to source whether he could play for us and make sure everything was right but the English FA have told us that he can't play.
"They said he qualified for them and nobody else. It's a big disappointment for Brian as he was keen to play for Scotland.
"It's disappointing for us as well because he's a good player and scored a couple of goals on Tuesday night.
"This is all a bit new to me and it can get a bit confusing. But at this moment in time, it does seem that there is nothing more we can do."
Burley revealed 25-year-old Howard could have played for Scotland if he made his interest known before he reached 21.
He added: "We've been told that because he played for England in the Toulon Tournament when he was 16, a Fifa-registered tournament, he is ineligible for us.
"Brian has dual nationality but we were informed that if he had wanted to play for Scotland and not England then he had to apply to change with Fifa before he was 21. Obviously he didn't know that at the time."