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Wednesday 22 August 2018

Gibraltar deny cap offer to ex-player

Gibraltar, Ireland's next opponents in the Euro 2016 qualifiers, have denied a claim that they offered an international career to a player who has been retired for 18 months.

Lee Johnson (below), manager of League One side Oldham, claimed yesterday that he was offered the chance to play for Gibraltar, even though he is retired and has not played a game since March 2013.

"It's a funny one because my nan - my dad's mum - is a full Gibraltarian," Johnson said. "I just got a phone call from an agent saying they are searching for players that could be eligible, would you be interested? I think they play Germany next! It was nice to be thought of again in those terms but I don't really want to be running after the world champions when we've got a game on Saturday!"

But officials in Gibraltar have dismissed those claims. "The Gibraltar FA notes the comments attributed to Lee Johnson, the Oldham Athletic Manager, suggesting that he was approached by an agent to come out of retirement and play for Gibraltar," the GFA said.

"The Gibraltar FA wishes to make it clear that it is NOT engaging the services of agents in Gibraltar or abroad to approach players to represent Gibraltar and that it has no connection whatsoever with any agents in Gibraltar, the UK or anywhere else."

Gibraltar, beaten 7-0 by Poland in their first Euro 2016 qualifier, face Ireland in Dublin next month before a 'home' game with Georgia in Portugal.

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