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Small print scuppers Driver's dream of playing for Scotland

Andrew Driver's dream of playing for Scotland has been dashed after the Scottish Football Association discovered he was not eligible under the new school rule after all, reports the Daily Mirror. It had been thought Hearts winger Driver, 22, would become the first senior player to benefit from a recent change in eligibility criteria that allows those with five years schooling in a country to represent his or her adopted nation.

But after investigations into Driver's educational background, it transpired he did not fulfil this criteria.

The SFA said in a statement: "After recent media interest, the Scottish FA regrets to confirm that Andrew Driver cannot be considered for selection by the national coach, Craig Levein, under the terms of the revised eligibility rules.

"Under Article 16, paragraph 1(d) of the FIFA regulations, it states that in order to qualify under the new rules adopted by the four Home Associations, a player must have 'undertaken primary and/or secondary education for a minimum of five years in the territory of the relevant Association'.

"Upon investigation of Andrew Driver's eligibility by the Scottish FA, it has emerged that - despite widespread public belief since the inception of this new rule - the player does not, in fact, fulfil this criterion."

New Scotland coach Craig Levein, who was keen to have Driver on board, said: "Firstly, let me express my heartfelt sympathy and deep disappointment for the player, who had expressed a keenness to play for Scotland when it first emerged he may have been eligible under the new rules.

"Unfortunately, after carrying out the necessary procedures, it emerged that he had not been educated for a minimum of five years at primary or secondary school in this country.

"I spoke to the player and his father today to inform them and they were obviously and understandably disappointed.

"I consider Andrew a fantastic player with a great future ahead of him and I would have been delighted to work with him at Scotland. This is not now possible but I would ask everyone to allow Andrew the time and space to concentrate on his club career and I wish him all the best."

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