The Algerian Football Federation said Sunday it is awaiting the permission of FIFA to allow the striker of FC Parma Ishak Belfodil to join the national team.
Born in Algeria, Belfodil grew up in France where he made his name as a footballer, playing for the French club Lyon from November 2008 until June 2011 when he joined Italian side FC Parma.
The 20-year-old played for France youth team, but he was called up to the Algeria national team for the first time on Saturday. The Bosnian coach Vahid Halilhodžić asked him to join the team for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Libya to be played in Casablanca, Morocco, on September 9, 2012.
Belfodil told the Algerian Press Service he was proud and honored to wear the jersey of the Desert Foxes.
“I was not surprised by my selection,” he said. “I was waiting to to be invited to the Algerian national team.”
Under FIFA rules, players are generally not allowed to switch national teams if they have made senior appearances for one FIFA-recognized country in competitive fixtures.
Belfodil, who has not represented France at the senior level, said he is hopeful to obtain FIFA permission to play for Algeria before the game against Libya.