Luton Town midfielder, Cameron McGeehan, had renounced his intended footballing nationality and declared himself unavailable for Northern Ireland.
McGeehan, despite, having previously represented the Ulstermen at both under-19 and under-21 level, pulled out of the latter's squad for this weekend's match against Scotland in Lurgan.
In fact, he went one stage further.
He informed the IFA that he no longer wanted to be considered for Northern Ireland full stop, preferring to chance his luck with an attempt to win a full cap for England.
That regulation states that if you pull out of an international squad but are fit to play for your club up to five days after the international match you were selected for, the board of that nation can have you miss your club's next game should they feel obliged to do so.
The rule is there to try and stop players picking and choosing which international games to play in. Some would claim they were injured and couldn't play for their country (read: didn't fancy going to the likes of Armenia or Kazakhstan for a friendly match) but would make a dramatic recovery for a league game against Stoke 72 hours later.
McGeehan's case is slightly different however and the IFA's action, which made him miss Luton's league fixture this weekend, has been deemed by those across the Irish sea as being 'petty'.
His manager at Luton, John Still, told The Luton News Herald & Post:
“Cameron McGeehan was chosen for Northern Ireland U21s but has decided that he doesn’t want to represent Northern Ireland, even though he has done before.
“He’s had a chat with his family, because I think the Irish comes from a grandmother, and as a very confident young man, he feels that England is his country and he doesn’t want to not think he can’t make that step.
“He informed Northern Ireland that that’s what he wanted to do and they have evoked a rule that says while they’re playing in their competition, he can’t play for us, this time.
“I see both sides of the fence. I see from any national team that someone’s been picked that doesn’t want to play for them, them saying well if you’re pulling out, you can’t play for your club.
“Here is a young man who’s decided he doesn’t want to play for that country forever, so I would have thought they wouldn’t have taken those steps, but I’m not in their position and I wouldn’t want to comment about their position.
“My position, an outsider looking in, is I could fully understand them saying how disappointed they are, but Cameron not playing for us when he’s never going to play for Northern Ireland, I’m not sure that’s the right course of action for a young footballer.
“I always try and look at things, what is right and what is wrong. I’m also a person that thinks punishment should fit a crime, well I’m not sure what crime Cameron’s committed.
“He perhaps should have told them out of competition time that he never wanted to play and I understand that and that my be a naiveness because of his age.
“But I’m not even going to defend that, as I don’t even know where it’s come from, it may not be the manager or the coach, it may be, the organisation that runs football in Northern Ireland, they may be the ones who think, well that’s what we think, that’s what were going to do.
“I always turn things round and go, what if it was your son, would you still think that was the right punishment? If they do, there’s nothing we can do about it and technically we can do nothing about it at the moment, but my opinion is that punishment doesn’t fit the crime in this place.
“Cameron said, ‘I’m not disrespecting Northern Ireland but I just feel that I’m at an age where I think I’m getting better and better.’“With all these young players, I constantly remind them about what they can achieve.
“He’s saying to himself, ‘I’m English, I can play for England, should I say no to England now?’ I admire him for that. I’m not saying I admire him for not picking Northern Ireland as I wouldn’t disrespect another country.
“But I admire him that it was probably more difficult to play for England that it is for Northern Ireland, no less so would I admire him if he said ‘I’m going to play for Ireland and get in their World Cup squad,’ I’d admire that ambition and that drive.
“I admire that he’s given it as much thought as he has as it’s a big decision and having made that decision, there’s consequences that looks like he’s got to go with.”
In 2013, the player himself told The Belfast Telegraph:
"Having been born in England I know that's always there for me, but at the minute I want to make progress with Northern Ireland and I love pulling on the shirt.
"I have played in the under-16s and under-17s. I missed out on the under-19s this season because of injury and I hope now I can push on and get into the under-21 squad.
"I've watched Northern Ireland matches on television with my dad. It always seems like there is a great atmosphere at Windsor Park and I would love to play there in front of those fans.
"Hopefully I can keep progressing at Norwich and it will happen sooner rather than later."
After all, and with due respect to Luton Town, he's hardly in a ideal position to be in the frame for an England call-up.
Very rarely does a player in the lower leagues find themselves with the Three Lions badge on their chest and strutting their stuff at Wembley.
Players from Luton Town have been capped for England in the past, but that was back in the days when they were a top-flight club in the 1980s.
They haven't been one for quite some time and McGeehan is going to have to go some to attract the attention of a top flight club in order to be signed for them which in turn would put him on the England team's radar.
Given that at the time of writing, Northern Ireland are one win away from qualifying for next year's European Championship, he is snubbing a potential opportunity to play at a major tournament which is in itself, a prime-site catwalk that can have a player bag a transfer to a big club.
From the IFA's point of view, this may be a vindictive act of pettiness for them to block McGeehan's eligibility for Luton this weekend by invoking the five-day rule but it seems his snub was the straw that broke the camel's back,
The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 brought up many things for life in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. One was allowing footballers to choose which 'Ireland' they wished to play for regardless of what side of the border they were born in.
Unfortunately for Northern Ireland, it has all been one-way traffic as many of its home-grown players - mostly from the nationalist Catholic community - have opted to play for the Republic.
The James McClean case (as discussed in a previous blog entry: http://mattleslie74.weebly.com/blog/flagging-up-an-issue) has its own similarities to this one.
There's no disputing that McClean grew up in a nationalist part of Derry and people do get that he would have felt more inclined towards the Republic than Northern Ireland.
Where there is an issue is that before fully committing himself to the Republic's national team, he had made himself eligible for, and indeed represented, Northern Ireland's age-group teams - like McGeehan.
And like McGeehan, there are those within Ulster who feel that they had their time 'wasted' by someone who they feel was 'using' them as a stepping stone for what that player saw as 'bigger things'.
Not to mention taking up a berth of someone who would be genuinely motivated to win full caps for Northern Ireland.
By the time you hit school-leaving age, you are very likely to know what your national identity is and, in hindsight, the likes of McClean and McGeehan should have been upfront with the IFA from the very first age-group call by telling them that they wanted to play for the nations they felt more closely aligned to.
We can assume the IFA would have fully understood - and appreciated - this honesty and moved on without another word said about it.
But also behind the IFA losing their rag over the McGeehan issue would be the long history they've had of players crying off internationals through injury yet be fit as a fiddle for their club teams days later.
A glamour friendly against Spain in Belfast in 2002 should have been a fantastic spectacle for those who paid good money to attend.
Yet the then manager of Northern Ireland, Sammy McIlroy, had to scrap the bottom of the barrel in order to find enough fit and eligible players to face Spain's multi-million pound stars as 12 players pulled out of his squad.
As he lamented in The Weekly News in 2002:
"Hand on heart I am disillusioned.
"I want to do so well for the country, but sometimes this job kicks you in the teeth.
"All over the football world they hardly understand [the circumstances of a defeat].
"All they look at is results and you are judged on results.
"All it says in the record books is that you drew here or got beat there.
"I would like to be judged on results when I've been able to pick the team I would like."
When the two nations met in Belfast more than a year later in a European Championship qualifier, McIlroy had most of his main players available and a goalless draw - which saw Northern Ireland have their chances to win - was the result.
A marked change from 14 months before.
Meanwhile, McGeehan has now made his bed and must now lie on it. You would hope for his sake that his choice works out for him.
Especially if in a few years time, both England and Northern Ireland qualify for a major tournament and he is at home watching it on television thinking 'what if' should the former ignore his services.
The IFA though will continue to try and unearth new talent with the aim of developing them for the full squad.
Although you will suspect they might be thoroughly quizzing each youngster to make sure that they are serious about playing for them.
Indeed, a warning shot has already been fired for anyone who harbours the slightest inclination about wanting to play for another nation that they qualify to represent.
As IFA performance director, and former Northern Ireland player, Jim Magilton said in today's Belfast Telegraph:
"There is no ambiguity. Once a player makes the decision to switch that's it, there is no going back. It's clear in the Fifa rules.
"We couldn't select them again under any circumstances."
Their reasons for wanting to do just that are very probably genuine, but it would save a lot of aggravation for the nation that will be snubbed as well as the player himself.