Coventry City's Jack Rudoni explains frustration over US passport and Paris Olympics

Jack Rudoni admits he might have been a later starter at Coventry City this pre-season after being ear-marked to represent the USA at the Paris Olympic Games this summer.

The 23-year-old Sky Blues recruit from Huddersfield Town thought he qualified to play for the United States by virtue of the fact his grandfather is American and has lived there all his life, currently residing in California. Rudoni was contacted by the United States Soccer Federation last year and pencilled in to represent the country for the first time this summer.

Asked about his international ambitions and explaining what went wrong, the South London-born attacking midfielder said: “I have international ambitions, and the thing is I was actually supposed to play at the Olympics for America this summer but I couldn’t get a US passport.

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“I was contacted by the American national set-up early last season. They knew I have an American grandfather and said they should be able to sort it and get me into the set-up, and planned for me to play in the Olympics for them.

“But it turns out that your dad has to have lived in America for five years or something, so I couldn’t get a passport through my grandfather. I went all the way down to London to the US embassy and it took about five minutes before they said I couldn’t get the passport.

“I don’t know if there can be a way around it in the future. Hopefully there will, but I guess I will have to hold out and try to get into the England squad instead.”

He added: “My grandfather lives out in Monterey, California, and I have a lot of family over there, so he’s completely American and therefore I thought I would be able to get a passport. Maybe there’s a way around it in the future but right now I need to focus on my club football and when I get to the levels I know I can get to, whether it’s England or America, I am not sure. Maybe Haji (Wright) can put in a good word for me and sort it.”

Wright, meanwhile, had been in line to feature in the Olympics as one of three allowed over age players, but City were reluctant to let him go, knowing the Games are scheduled to take place from Friday, July 26, through to Sunday, August 11, which would have meant the player missing much of pre-season and City’s opening Championship match at Stoke.

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