Terry Stephenson answers PNGFA contact

Oceania Football Center wrote an article about Terry Stephenson that called the attention of local people. The 18 years old player was born in Lae, Papua New Guinea. The repercussion of this article was so big that it reached Papua New Guinea Football Association.

After Terry Stephenson told Oceania Football Center that he could be eligible to represent PNG at international football level, the PNG Football Association got in touch with him to talk about the possibility of Stephenson play for Kapuls.

Terry Stephenson

The contact made by PNG Football Association was successful. However he pointed that he would not take the final decision by now – “I am still young and still developing my career […] I am only 18 and it would be very hard for me to make a decision as of yet.” stated Stephenson.

Stephenson currently holds an English passport as he has been living in England for many years. He already took part of English National camps at U15 level and he would like to wait some seasons to decide if he will play for PNG or not. A football player can only change the nationality of his passport once so if he decides to apply for a Papua New Guinean passport he could not get the English one again to represent England according to FIFA rules – “I would like to see in maybe a few seasons where my career has taken me and whether I want to play for England or Papua New Guinea” he explained.

A similar case happened to Adrian Mariappa: he was born in England but his father is Fijian and his mother is from Jamaica. Mariappa had an English passport and he could change its nationality so he decided to apply for a Jamaican passport. He could have chosen to apply for the Fijian passport in order to represent Fiji National Football Team but he preferred to represent Jamaica.

It means that we are not going to see Stephenson playing for Papua New Guinea in the 2020 OFC Nations Cup. However if he does not play an official match for England National Football Team at senior level he can apply for a Papua New Guinean passport and it would not be something difficult to him because he was born in PNG.


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