Fran Karacic has been cleared for Socceroos duty in a World Cup boost. Pic: Luka Stanzl/PIXSELL
Fran Karacic has been cleared for Socceroos duty in a World Cup boost. Pic: Luka Stanzl/PIXSELL

Socceroos bolter given crucial clearance

FIFA has cleared Croatia Under-21 international Fran Karacic to switch eligibility and play for Australia at the World Cup.

FIFA says the formal "change of association" for Croatia-born Karacic, who is named in the Socceroos' provisional squad, was completed on Thursday. The 22-year-old defender is eligible for Australia because his father was born there.

FIFA lets players make one change of allegiance in their career before they play a senior competitive game for a national team.

Karacic seems certain to be included in coach Bert van Marwijk's 23-man squad next month in Russia to fill a need at right back.

He helped Lokomotiva Zagreb finish fifth in the Croatian league this season. Australia will play in Group C with France, Denmark and Peru.

Fran Karacic chases the ball during training with the Socceroos.
Fran Karacic chases the ball during training with the Socceroos.