Krystian Pearce ready to make history for Bajan Tridents
Krystian "Chief" Pearce
After two years on the sideline, Barbados senior men’s footballer Krystian “Chief” Pearce is eagerly anticipating his return to action with the Tridents.
The Tridents are in a prime position to qualify for their first major international tournament, as they are into the last 12 of the Concacaf Gold Cup Qualifiers and will be vying for one of the four spots available for next summer’s tournament.
Pearce last featured for Barbados on October 13, 2018 in a Concacaf Nations League Qualifier, where Barbados went down to host El Salvador 3-0.
The former Mansfield Town Football Club skipper made an impressive senior international debut on September 6, 2018, along with fellow England-based professional Hallam Hope.
Hope’s two goals and Pearce’s no-nonsense and commanding defending helped Barbados to a 2-2 tie against Guyana. A result which was then overturned by Concacaf as Hope and Pearce were deemed ineligible and Guyana earning a 3-0 result, which subsequently took them to the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup and Barbados seeded in League C of the Nations League.
Pearce and Hope have represented England at the youth level and due to their heritage, (both of their fathers are Barbadian) they are recognized as Barbadian citizens.
Hope, spent a short period of his early years in Barbados and held a Barbados passport during that time. Pearce born in London, but visited the island regularly as a child and continued well into his adulthood, to spend time with his grandmother who still resides in St Philip.
Pearce proudly displayed his Barbados identification card and passport to Loop Sport and said he has done everything he has been advised to do by Barbados Football Association (BFA) Technical Director Ahmed Mohamed and has been awaiting further word.
“What I’ve been told from my end is the Barbados FA needs to contact the English FA to request the transfer of nationalities. That’s the equation I’ve been given thus far”, said Pearce.
Pearce said his immigration and eligibility situation is quite similar to Hope’s; they both have Barbadian parents, grew up in England, played for the Three Lions youth teams and never capped for the seniors, hold a Barbadian passport, but only Hope has played since they were both initially deemed ineligible for the Barbados team.
The situation has been very confusing and saddening for the center half who said he has been following the progress of the Tridents, also engaging in conversation with coach Russell Latapy and he is excited to return to be with the team, especially on the brink of qualifying for the Gold Cup.
“It [the Gold Cup] is a great opportunity for the boys and hopefully I can be a part of that and we can make history together”, Pearce said excitingly.
Pearce’s experience of over 400 professional appearances, his strong leadership and resolute defending are all qualities I am sure coach Latapy will be grateful for, especially seeing that our recent center backs have been midfielders Akeem Hill and Mario Williams.
FIFA Article 8.1 states “individuals may only once request to change their national team association, subject to the following conditions:
- He has not played a match (either in full or in part) in an official competition at international level for his current association, and at the time of his first full or partial appearance in an international match in an official competition for his current association, he already had the nationality of the representative team for which he wishes to play.
- He is not permitted to play for his new association in any competition in which he has already played for his previous association”.
According to FIFA regulations, a change cannot occur if a player has been capped at senior international level in a competitive international match, such as a World Cup qualifier.Senior friendlies, therefore, are not deemed sufficient to tie a player to an association.
In order to make a change of association, a player must submit a written, substantiated request to the FIFA General Secretariat and the governing body’s Player Status Committee will make a decision on that request.
Once a request has been filed, a player is not eligible to play for any national team until all the paperwork is processed
Renaldo Gilkes is Loop's lead sport journalist, specializing in football and he is also a Barbados Football Association (BFA) and Concacaf licensed coach and coach instructor.