BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
CELTIC youngster Kristoffer Ajer is at the heart of an international storm after starring for Norway while ineligible.
The 19-year-old was in dazzling form against minnows Kosovo on Monday night as he made his debut for under-21 side, scoring the second goal of the game as the hosts cruised to a comprehensive 5-0 win in Drammen.
However, it has subsequently emerged that Ajer, who spent last season on loan with Kilmarnock, was banned for the encounter.
He was sent off for Norway’s under-19 team against Spain in March and – with rules stating that the suspension must be served in the next fixture in the same age group or the one immediately above – Ajer should have sat out the clash with Kosovo.
The Norwegian Football Federation (NFF) now fully expect UEFA to hand Kosovo a 3-0 victory, costing Norway U21s a vital three points and reducing their goal difference by eight.
That would see them crash to the foot of their Euro 2019 qualifying group.
Alf Hansen, director of the sporting departing at the NFF, told vg.no: “We are distressed by the whole affair.
“There are a staff here who do everything possible to support the sport, and the players, to make sure they can succeed. This is terrible. That’s what’s the most desperate here.”