Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic has elected to switch his international allegiances from Croatia to Bosnia.
The centre-back is the first player to make the move since both nations became independent following the break up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
Simunovic, a former captain of Croatia U21s, says he was frustrated waiting for a senior call-up last season – despite his impressive form for Celtic.
The 22-year-old was also disappointed by a lack of communication during his eight-month lay-off with a broken knee in 2016.
Simunovic said: “When I was injured for a long time, no one from the Croatia FA called me. No one asked about my health.
“Yet I had played nearly 50 games for the younger Croatian international teams and had been captain of the Under-21s.”
Having spoken with close members of his family, Simunovic has now decided to take his chance with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He said: “My parents and my grandparents are all from Bosnia and Herzegovina. I was contacted by national coach Mehmed Bazdarevic and came to the definite decision I wanted to play for him and Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
“I then spoke to all my family and decided to play for my country.”
Simunovic will be part of the Bosnia squad for the upcoming games against Gibraltar and Cyprus.Euro Soccer Bonus
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