Durante’s NZ move demeans international football

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    Newly certified New Zealand citizen Andrew Durante has officially jumped ship – the Australian-born defender declaring his availability for All Whites selection ahead of the Kiwis’ upcoming meeting with New Caledonia.

    It’s a development that is unlikely to provoke more than half-interested cries of good luck. Though certainly no slouch, Durante has never warranted sustained candidature for selection from the nation of his birth.

    At 30, this was unlikely to change, despite the assumed need for walking frames and mushy food for numerous Socceroos incumbents.

    And, of course, the Kiwis have enjoyed genuine success of late. So it’s difficult to imagine why Durante himself would have said no.

    And, true, the Phoenix man does look like the closest thing New Zealand might call on to fill the sizeable gap left by the recently retired Ryan Nelsen.

    Still, in other ways it’s a baffling decision, and one that quietly belittles international football.

    Durante was granted New Zealand citizenship as a result of having played for the Wellington Phoenix since 2008. This represents the totality of his connection to NZ.

    Certainly, any nation of modest rank is entitled to cast a wide net in consideration of eligible players. But this is not a case of vague familial connection, or brief, tentative years spent in the land in question.

    Durante is an Australian, eligible for New Zealand citizenship purely because the unusual circumstances of the Australian national league led to him plying his trade in a neighbouring country.

    The man in question even appeared on the Socceroos’ bench in 2010.

    But surely national sporting representatives are supposed to be just that – the finest representation of a nation’s football. Not so here – Durante’s selection for New Zealand says absolutely nothing about the sporting culture that is supposed to spawn its players.

    The defender is now in the rather contradictory position of being irrelevant to NZ football, except that he represents it at the highest possible level.

    Of course, there is also the matter of Australia and New Zealand’s sporting rivalry. This, too, is an enmity that – most Australians would agree – seems to be felt much more keenly by the Kiwis.

    You might have supposed it was a strong disincentive to New Zealand sides recruiting from their trans-Tasman rivals, more so if the player would likely never make the grade on the other side. But you would apparently be wrong.

    So, you can hardly blame Durante himself for taking the opportunity presented to him. But his selection is a purely expedient, cynical move on the part of Football NZ.

    It openly runs contrary to the spirit of international football – better likened to a ‘shrewd acquisition’ by a side with a keen eye for transfer market openings. But we already have club football for all that.

    Such practices are demeaning to the international game, and best avoided.

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • March 7th 2013 @ 4:29am
      Johnno said | March 7th 2013 @ 4:29am | ! Report

      Does Josip Šimunić, playing for Croatia demean or devalue Croatian soccer.

      No. He is fulfilling FIFA’s eligibly rules, so no.
      Simunic did have Croatian heritage though.

      Brendon Julian was a kiwi , the former test cricketer for Australia, he was born in Hamilton New Zealand and moved to Australia when he was a child.

      Does Irene Van Dyk a South African, moveing to NZ , does that demean NZ netball.

      Brad Thorn is kiwi born, but played for the Aussy rugby league team, as did Tony Carroll born in NZ.

      Lote Tiquri born in Fiji, playing for the aussy rugby league and the Wallabies, a dual international.

      It’s just global immigration, modern times get used to it, for Sokah , the global sports player trade, it’s only going to get worse, more international flip-flopping of players.

      You sometimes see , in sports like snow-sking and weightlifting , people who can’t make a national squad of a strong country in those sports eg Austria in snow-sking, Bulgaria in weightlifting, they go and play for other sports, often obscure countries too.

      Like Austrians skiing for African countries that don’t have a cold weather climate, or a mountainous country. And same in weightlifting, Bulgarians and other eastern bloc countries turning out for countries like surprise surprise, Australia.

      James Tamou anyone in rugby league playing for the kangaroos the kiwi from Palmerston North in NZ, and Tokoroa’s favourite son Quade Cooper, born in New Zealand.

      Then Siteleki Timani from Tonga playing for the wallabies, plus all the other guys who moved over too australia ether in there teenage years or young adult years, . Dan Vickerman and Cyde Rathbone, both played for
      South Africa under-21’s rugby team, very late in the piece, when they moved to Australia hardly when they were 5 years or 10 years old.

      After all that, can Australian sport really throw stones at other countries for poaching, especially across the Tasman.

      Oh and I will add another inconvenient little truth about Australian soccer, and the hypocrisy , not just throwing stones across the ditch, but in General .

      Milan Ivanović anyone, Australia remember him have I awoken you, wake up.

      Born in Serbia in 1960

      He came to Australia in 1989, aged 28 or 29 developed completely as a footballer in the old-Yugoslavia.

      The player from the Red Star Belgrade club , adefender , one of the finest defenders ever to lay on a Socceroo jersey played 59 times for the Socceroos.

      And played 290 matches for Adelaide city in the old NSL. Was one of the socceroo’s, best defenders ever.

      So if New Zealand should hand over Andrew Durante, we should hand over Milan Ivanovic back to Serbia then.

      This is the hypocrisy if we didn’t, .
      Australia do it just as badly as other countries poach talent, that wasn’t developed in Australia, or the players moved over when they were teenagers or adults .

      Oh and you do know ex-player now tv commentator on fox sports, Francis Awaritefe was born in London England in 1964 played 3 matches for the soccer’s from 1994-96, was developed totally in England and moved to Australia as an adult.

      So for us to throw stones across the ditch, we should hand over Milan Ivanovic and Francis Awartiefe, no way.
      We are guilty of being hypocrites if we have a go at other countries about player poaching in sport.

      Oh I almost forgot, Kostya Tszyu, former world boxing champ from Serov Russia, moved to Australia and fought and won world boxing titles under Kostya Tsyu from Australia , not Kostya Tszyu from Australia.

      The hypocrisy is hillarious , if we throw stones about other countries about poaching, or picking players or atheltes born overseas, and developed overseas.

      Oh and her’s 1 morel to start your day, the beautiful Tatiana Grigorieva born in 1975 in St Petersburg Russia, won a silver medal for Australia at Sydney 2000 Olympics. Our Tat we used to call her, when she was competing for Australia.

      The hypocrisy is hillarious , if we throw stones about other countries about poaching, or picking players or atheltes born overseas, and developed overseas.

      • March 7th 2013 @ 9:23am
        Minister for Information for the Democratic People's Republic of Football said | March 7th 2013 @ 9:23am | ! Report

        Ha,ha,ha…I think you made your point Johnno but I agree wholeheartedly. And to add to that Australia has exported sports people before. Remember Kate Allen the triathlete who won a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics for her adopted country Austria ahead of the Aussie girls?
        It happens. We shouldn’t get too emotional about it.

        As for Durante? Based on the defending I’ve seen from him this season you wonder why they bothered. But good luck to him and good luck to the All Whites.

    • March 7th 2013 @ 8:33am
      Arvind said | March 7th 2013 @ 8:33am | ! Report

      Get real Tom.

    • March 7th 2013 @ 8:44am
      jbinnie said | March 7th 2013 @ 8:44am | ! Report

      Tom – As i’ve said before many many times there is nothing new in football. Take this gripe you have about Durante.
      In 1960 one of the world’s greatest teams,the all conquering Real Madrid won their 5th consecutive European Cup. Playing in that team were 3 wonderful players of whom you may have read or heard.I refer of course to Alfredo De Stefano,Ferenc Puskas and Jose Santa Maria.
      During their playing careers Santa Maria played 20 times for his native Uruguay,&16 times for Spain.Puskas played 85 times for his native Hungary and 4 times for Spain,and De Stefano actually played for 3 countries,his native Argentine 6 times.Colombia 4 times,and Spain 31 times. You will note the common denominator in all cases was the country Spain so I would hazard a guess and say they may have been instrumental in getting the “rules” changed from country of birth to the 3 year residency being seen as the requirement to “change” country. jb

    • Roar Guru

      March 7th 2013 @ 9:18am
      Fussball ist unser leben said | March 7th 2013 @ 9:18am | ! Report

      In a world ruled by regulations, there is only ONE question to be asked …

      Does Andrew Durante pass the FIFA eligibility criteria to allow him to play for NZL?

      If the answer is “Yes”, then he is as entitled to play for NZL as Messi is to play for ARG .. even though Messi probably hasn’t lived in ARG since he was 11 years old.

      Yes, FIFA’s eligibility rules for international football can be confusing but, from what I’ve read, FIFA’s regulations are much more stringent than the eligibility rules for other sports that have international competition: Rugby, Cricket, Tennis, etc.

      • March 7th 2013 @ 11:59am
        dasilva said | March 7th 2013 @ 11:59am | ! Report

        Cricket is pretty stringent. No parent or grandparent rule. You actually have to live in that country for a lengthy period of time to play for that country

    • March 7th 2013 @ 10:13am
      Greg said | March 7th 2013 @ 10:13am | ! Report

      He’s no definate to start…. or play much. Ryan Nelson leaving… is a massive hole.. but one that we can fill not too badly..

      Winston Reid 24 years old at Westham is better than any defender Australia has got and is playing at a higher level than any defender in the socceroos.

      Tommy Smith 22 years old at Ipswich Town already captained NZ at senior level.

      He will batlle it out with Vicelich (prob too old?) and Sigmund (not as technically sound) for the third spot.

      But I as a kiwi.. would definately prefer Sigmund to start over Durante.. The guy eats, sleeps and sh-ts NZ football and has played for NZ since under 17s when his side kicked Jason Culina’s fancied U-17s team out of the WC.

      I’m sure we have another young buck somewhere to? James Musa?

      Not really a big deal to us if he comes or stags.. we will survive and thrive….
      Rojas… Chris Wood (banging in goals)… Costa Barbarouses (excuse spelling sorry).. McGlinchey…
      Best thing to happen to NZ football is our young talented players getting coached by Ange Postecoglou- Thanks mate!

      Bet we show better than you at the next WC too.

      • March 7th 2013 @ 3:49pm
        Siena said | March 7th 2013 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

        I agree with most of Greg’s comments, but one of the things that brassed me off is what Durante said, Once the red tape is cut and his switch is confirmed, Durante’s next task is to brush up on the Maori verse of the national anthem.

        “I think I’ve got to learn [the words] quick smart. I’m sure I’ll get tested once it all goes through.”

        My native tongue, Te Reo Maori is a very sacred language to me and its not a mere vehicle for Durante to kick his football into, ie “learn [the words] quick smart…and also just so that he can waltz right into the All Whites.

        He’s very fortunate to have kept his job here on the other side of the Tasman, because as a captain, he sucks!

        He has a big mouth, (Not for him to call someone a CHEAT, even though I agree a certain Argentine is an adept simulator). A captain is supposed to show leadership, inspire and encourage his players, NOT Durante.

        He was one of the worst player’s for receiving cards in the last couple of seasons.

        When Tim Brown left, he took with him the ‘Spirit of the Phoenix’, even though I thought Brown was lazy at times…But he is very much missed.

        We already have aspiring players who qualify for our All Whites squad and they are KIWI’s through and through – I shall be frank, I don’t want a Socceroo’s bench warmer – I want one of my own countrymen to don the All White jersey, for the love of representing their country, their whanau (family) and themselves…Not because the All White jersey and my native tongue is merely a vehicle of convenience to kick a football around on the world stage..Have to qualify first, however.

        Durante has I believe received his NZ citizenship…So it must be Byebye Waltzing Matilda and Kiaora Kamate! Kamate!

        Why do we always get your Aussie cast-offs? With the exception of Manny of course.

    • Roar Guru

      March 7th 2013 @ 10:14am
      Mantis said | March 7th 2013 @ 10:14am | ! Report

      This happens in sport all the time. Why you would highlight it with Andrew Durante of all people is odd to me.

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