Sports

Looking for next Balotelli: Italy coach Prandelli hopes to change law on immigrants' children

  • Italy's Coach Cesare Prandelli touches his mouth during a press conference at the foreign press club in Rome, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. 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 only apply for citizenship once they turn 18. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    Italy's Coach Cesare Prandelli touches his mouth during a press conference at the foreign press club in Rome, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. 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 only apply for citizenship once they turn 18. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)  (The Associated Press)

  • A journalist takes a picture of Italy's coach Cesare Prandelli during a press conference at the foreign press club in Rome, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. 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 only apply for citizenship once they turn 18. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    A journalist takes a picture of Italy's coach Cesare Prandelli during a press conference at the foreign press club in Rome, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. 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 only apply for citizenship once they turn 18. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)  (The Associated Press)

  • Italy's Coach Cesare Prandelli smiles during a press conference at the foreign press club in Rome, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. 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 only apply for citizenship once they turn 18. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    Italy's Coach Cesare Prandelli smiles during a press conference at the foreign press club in Rome, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. 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 only apply for citizenship once they turn 18. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)  (The Associated Press)

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 said "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 identify them.