ZURICH — Bojan Krkic will not be allowed to play for Serbia because he has already represented Spain in a competitive match.

Serbia wanted Bojan to represent the country because the Stoke forward’s father is Serbian, but FIFA denied a request to change his international eligibility.

Serbia made the request despite a long-established FIFA rule that means players are not permitted to change national teams after appearing in a competitive match.

Eight years ago, the former Barcelona player made one appearance for Spain, where he was born. At 18, Bojan came on as a substitute in Spain’s 4-0 win over Armenia in Albacete in September 2008. Spain went on to win the 2010 World Cup.

Serbia is in a six-team 2018 World Cup qualifying group that includes Wales, Austria and Ireland.