FIFA probing Alejandro Zendejas eligibility

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - AUGUST 13: Alejandro Zendejas of America celebrates after scoring his team's third goal during the 8th round match between Pumas UNAM and America as part of the Torneo Apertura 2022 Liga MX at Olimpico Universitario Stadium on August 13, 2022 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)

FIFA has started an investigation into the national team status of Club America’s Alejandro Zendejas, who has played at the youth level for the United States and at the senior level for Mexico in two friendlies.

On Wednesday, questions began to be raised about the surprising absence of the in-form Zendejas from Mexico’s latest roster for a friendly against Paraguay next week.

By Thursday, sources told ESPN Mexico that the attacking midfielder had yet to file a one-time switch with FIFA that would commit him to Mexico going forward, which reportedly had a role in his absence from El Tri’s roster.

Zendejas, born in Mexico but raised north of the border, previously played for the United States at the youth national team level, including at the 2015 Under-17 World Cup.

Without a one-time switch, the 24-year-old would remain ineligible to play for Mexico, including in the two friendlies he appeared in.

According to FIFA, unless they file a request to switch national associations, “Any player who has already participated in a match (either in full or in part) in an official competition of any category or any type of football for one association may not play an international match for a representative team of another association.”

Following an injury for Mexican winger Jesus “Tecatito” Corona, Zendejas is one of a handful of candidates that are in the running for a more significant role with El Tri at the upcoming World Cup, if he’s eligible and selected. Zendejas has three goals in 10 appearances to start the Liga MX Apertura season.

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