Player Eligibility.

To represent England you must meet the below criteria as set by the international governing body FIBA

Birth Certificate(s)

Your full birth certificate will identify what nationality(ies) you hold. You may have been born in England, but your parents nationality also influence which country you can represent so be aware of this and make us aware as early as possible. If you do not, this will affect your potential FIBA registration.

You may have not been born in England but your parent(s) may have been, this will give you an indication that you can represent England. Again, this will be identified on your full birth certificate. Furthermore, parents being born in England does not mean you can play for England immediately, you will need to hold a British passport on top of this - this gives FIBA an indication of when you obtain British Nationality. 

Please note: FIBA do not accept short birth certificates, they require full certificates to see all nationalities so please make sure you have your full certificate available when requested. Submitting a short birth certificate will delay your registration process. 

If you don't have either of the above, then it is unlikely you will be able to represent England - unless you have gained British Citizenship (see below).

British passports

Residency cards and Leave to Remain won’t be accepted by FIBA. They only accept British Passports. This is because Residency cards and Leave to Remain do not indicate you hold a British citizenship nor the date when you held a British citizenship from.

Holding a British passport indicates to FIBA when you obtained British nationality. If you have copies of older passports, as well as your current passport, then this helps your registration as FIBA have specific regulations for players who obtain British citizenship after the age of 16 (See Naturalised Players section). 

British Citizenship

Some players may have not been born in this country, nor their parents, but have lived in the country long enough to gain British citizenship. This means you have a good opportunity to represent England on the international stage. 

FIBA will require copies of the official certificates and letters issued by the Home Office and any supporting documentation to  prove British Citizenship has been issued.

Once obtained, you will need to start the process to get a British passport to further support your FIBA registration. 

Other Passorts (Non-British)

If you have links to other nationalities through your birth or parents birth, you may hold passports for other nationalities. FIBA require to see them. 

This is so they can see when and which nationalities are/have been held by yourself. 

Commitment to England
You might have links to other countries through birth, e.g. a parent being born in France. FIBA see this as an opportunity for you to potentially switch allegiance and play for more than one country during your career (players can do this, see FIBA Internal Regulations, Chapter 1 – 22).

FIBA require a letter to show that you’re committed to playing for England and no other country, regardless if you were born in England.

For those who progress to be selected and registered with FIBA, we have a template letter available. You should contact the Performance Department to obtain this. 

Played for an English club

FIBA like to know that you’ve made a commitment to the country you’re registering to play for, especially if you weren’t born in England but has links to it.

One of the ideal ways to show this is to show how long you have played in England. Your club should be able to send/print off your history of registrations which will indicate how many times and for how long you have been registered to play in this country. 

Naturalised Players (FIBA Regulation 3-16)

If you are interested to play for England but you haven't got citizenship or a passport but have the opportunity to do so, you should do this before the age of 16. This will give you the best opportunity to play for England. 

The reason for this is that, if you gain British citizenship after the age of 16, FIBA will recognise you as 'Naturalised' and FIBA only allow 1 Naturalised player per team in their competitions. 

We want our coaches to be able to make selections based purely on ability, not due to FIBA regulations, so avoiding becoming Naturalised means that your involvement within England may be restricted.  

Passport Photographs

For your FIBA license card, which is issued once registered, requires a photo. FIBA request 2 x copies of a passport photo for your FIBA license card. 

Once issued, we at Basketball England keep the cards for future use when competing in FIBA Regulated Competitions.  

Further documentation

Any other documentation, that hasn't been mentioned above, that you feel can support and identify your links to England should be submitted to us when we are registering you with FIBA. 

FIBA want to see clear defined links to the nation that player wishes to play for so any supporting/further documentation that can be submit will only help your registration. 

Submitting as much information as you can for the FIBA registration process when instructed by your National Team Manager, will make registering with FIBA easier and quicker. 

Get more in-depth information on international eligibility