The Malta Football Association have applied to award a Maltese passport to Oxford United striker Jodi Felice Jones, the Times of Malta can confirm.
Felice Jones is eligible to receive a Maltese passport by descent as his father is Maltese.
MFA president Bjorn Vassallo confirmed to the Times of Malta that they are assisting in the process to award Maltese citizenship to Felice Jones and are confident that it will be finalised this month.
“The Malta Football Association confirms that it is assisting in the process for football player Jodi Jay Felice Jones, born on 22 October 1997 and currently on the books of Oxford United FC, to obtain Maltese citizenship by descent and thus be available to represent our country,” Vassallo said.
“The process has been on-going for a few months and will be finalised this month.”
The 24-year-old has been on the radar of the Malta Football Association for a few years now.
In fact, former Malta coach Ray Farrugia had already shown interest in Felice Jones and midfielder Teddy Teuma and bring them to the team during his spell in charge of the senior national team.
However, any hopes for Felice Jones to be awarded a Maltese passport were scuppered after he suffered a serious knee injury.
Despite this setback, the Malta FA and Farrugia’s successor Devis Mangia maintained their interest in the player who has shown a lot of willingness to don the colours of the Malta national team.
In the last few weeks, the Malta FA started the process to apply for a Maltese passport for Felice Jones and are hopeful the process will be completed this month so that the 24-year-old can form part of Malta’s squad for the upcoming crucial UEFA Nations League clash against Estonia on September 23.
Malta coach Devis Mangia is expected to name his squad for the upcoming UEFA Nations League qualifier against Estonia and the home friendly against Israel on Friday, and Jones is expected to be included in the list.
Should Felice Jones’ application be successful he will be the fifth player to be awarded a Maltese passport to form part of the national team.
Italian-born defender Enrico Pepe and Matias Garcia have been awarded Maltese citizenship on merit, while Scottish-based wing-back James Brown and midfielder Teuma received Maltese citizenship through descent.
Felice Jones started his career when he came through the youth ranks of Dagenham & Redbridge before he was promoted to the senior team in 2015.
In March 2016, Felice Jones joined Coventry City on an emergency loan deal with an option to make his move permanent.
Felice Jones impressed during his loan spell with the SkyBlues and he put pen to paper on a four-year contract.
Unfortunately, Felice Jones’ career was hampered by a serious knee injury in 2018 that left him out of the game for more than a year.
This summer, Felice Jones left Coventry City and joined Oxford United on a one-year deal and so far he managed to make two appearances for his new club.