German-born Rani Khedira rejects Tunisia World Cup opportunity
German-born Rani Khedira has rejected a possible place in Tunisia's World Cup squad in Russia.
The 24-year-old, who was born in Stuttgart to a German mother and Tunisian father, has represented Germany at youth level but is uncapped at senior international level.
Approached by the Tunisian Football Federation (FTF), Augsbrug midfielder Khedira has opted to follow in the footsteps of his brother Sami instead, by committing his international future to Germany.
"I'm proud that Tunisia considered me, but I was born in Germany and only speak German. That was the deciding factor," Khedira told his club official website.
"It was a long process. My Dad is a proud Tunisian. I carry both countries in my heart and wish them both well. It's the right decision, though."
As well as the language barrier, Khedira also said he wanted to give other Tunisians a chance to go to Russia.
"I don't think it's fair I take the place of players who have worked their socks off for the last two years to reach the World Cup, either," he added.
His rejection rules out the possibility of playing against his older brother Sami - a 2014 World Cup winner and capped 72 times by Germany - at this year's Fifa World Cup in Russia.
The former Stuttgart and RB Leipzig midfielder becomes the latest player to reject the 2004 African champions after France-born Wissam Ben Yedder snubbed the Carthage Eagles last year.
Earlier this week the FTF also decided against trying to encourage Ivory Coast-born Fousseni Coulibaly to apply for Tunisian citizenship ahead of the World Cup as they realised he would not be eligible until after the final to play for them.