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Italy's Prandelli issues appeal for immigrant law
Looking for the next Balotelli: Italy coach Prandelli issues appeal for immigrants' children
By ANDREW DAMPF
Associated Press
2013-12-03 11:01 PM

ROME (AP) -- Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is hoping for a law change that would allow children of immigrants to play for the country's national teams before they turn 18.

That's a chance that Mario Balotelli never had.

Speaking at the Foreign Press Association on Tuesday, Prandelli says "other nations are ahead of us in this department. I think and hope that soon these new Italians will have a chance to gain citizenship."

Under current law, children of legal immigrants born in Italy can apply for citizenship only when they turn 18.

FIFA rules require that only citizens play for national teams.

Prandelli says he follows "two or three" players who fit into that category, although he wouldn't name them.

He also said he wants a tough group in Friday's World Cup draw.

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