Arsenal acquitted Marcelo Flores for playing Mexico against Chile in a friendly match on December 8 in Austin, Texas, outside a FIFA window.
The 18-year-old’s first call-up will be in the Mexican first team. The midfielder also has the option to play for England or Canada.
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Arsenal Academy acknowledged the call-up via tweet, saying: “Marcelo Flores has been called up for the first time for Mexico’s first squad. The #AFCU18 midfielder will travel to Austin for the friendly against Chile next week. Congratulations Marcelo! We are so proud of you.”
The inclusion of the midfielder is an important step forward for the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), which is well aware of the fact that the Canadian-born midfielder also has the option of playing for England or Canada. Earlier this year, Flores was included in Canada’s provisional list for the 2021 Gold Cup.
As Mexico’s upcoming match is a friendly, Flores will still be able to assess his options for loyalty to the national team among the three countries.
Looking ahead to 2022, Flores could become a new addition to a top Mexican team that emerges from two losses in the octagonal CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers. Mexico is currently third in the qualifying table and needs to stay in the top three in order to secure an automatic place for the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.