Granting Vietnamese nationality to foreign footballers – no problem

Published: 28/01/2009 05:00



Secretary General of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) Tran Quoc Tuan and Chief of the Football Division of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training Mai Duc Chung talked about the naturalisation of foreign football players in Vietnam.

Maxwell (30) is about to become a Vietnamese citizen.

Many football clubs have asked for Vietnamese nationality for their foreign players as a measure to counteract the VFF’s restriction of 3 foreign players per team. What do you think about this?

Mai Duc Chung: It is no problem if football clubs do that trick. It is more important whether foreign players are suitable for these clubs after they are granted Vietnamese nationality or not. I think we have to wait to see whether Vietnam’s football will develop thanks to these players. Dong Tam-Long An’s Brazilian-Vietnamese Phan Van Santos was recently rejected from the national squad and two former players of the Thai national team, Nirut and Sakda of Hoang Anh Gia Lai club, didn’t meet criteria to join the Vietnamese national team.

Do you think that Vietnamising foreign players will affect our training of young players?

Tran Quoc Tuan: We can’t discriminate against foreign players who have become Vietnamese citizens because they have full citizenship as Vietnamese players. Certainly, this is a temporary measure of clubs and once these players become Vietnamese citizens, they will play football like Vietnamese footballers.

Mai Duc Chung: It surely will have impacts on training of young footballers. Many clubs prefer seeking foreign players and ask for the granting of Vietnamese nationality to them, rather than investing in training young players. I believe that the VFF needs to set rules on the time for foreign players to play football in Vietnam after they join our football clubs, otherwise V-League will be the playground for overseas Vietnamese and foreign players in the future.

Football clubs have to pay bonuses of around $20,000 for each foreign player who gets Vietnamese nationality while they have to pay hundreds of USD for a domestic player of the same level. Do you think that this is the result of a disordered football market?

Tran Quoc Tuan: In professional football there is always an interaction between the quality of football tournaments and the training of young players. VFF set rules based on the interest of football clubs and the rules are considered by authorised agencies so the rules are strict.

Mai Duc Chung: VFF needs to guide or issue regulations to help clubs enter the same orbit. There is a fact that clubs try to entice players from other clubs by paying them high tips and bonuses. Rich clubs only want to buy good players immediately rather than investing in training young ones. It is more dangerous that other clubs don’t want to train young players because they worry that when these players grow up, they will be enticed to other clubs.

Do you think that Vietnam should restrict the number of foreign players who are allowed to play football in a match to give more chances for young players?

Tran Quoc Tuan: I think the regulations that each club playing in V-League can register 5 foreign players and use 3 in a match and for those playing in the First Division to register 3 and use 2 in a match is appropriate.

Mai Duc Chung: In some Southeast Asian countries, it is necessary to have the appearance of foreign players as a stimulus of competition. They don’t need foreign players anymore when their football reaches a certain level of development.

The former Director of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training Le Buu didn’t support the use of foreign players. I think we should allow football clubs to register three and use two foreign players in a match. That’s enough!

Granting Vietnamese nationality to foreign players has emerged as a phenomenon in the last year.

The first case is Brazilian player Fabio Santos, who became Phan Van Santos. After Santos, Hoang Anh Gia Lai club recently stated that their Thai footballers, Nirut and Sakda, had been granted Vietnamese nationality.

Dong Tam Long An club is seeking Vietnamese nationality for Tshamala Issawa. Issawa was a member of the Thai national team so if he is naturalised in Vietnam, he will not be able to join the Vietnamese national squad.

Binh Duong club also said it was seeking Vietnamese nationality for Kesley and Philany. Kesley will surely be accepted as a Vietnamese citizen because he has married a Vietnamese girl.

The trend of seeking Vietnamese nationality for foreign players among clubs playing in V-League has spread to the First Division tournament.

Hoa Phat Hanoi plans to turn Amaobi into a Vietnamese while Ninh Binh announced it will have two such players, named Maxwell and Mykola.

It is estimated that at least ten foreign players will become Vietnamese citizens.

(Source: PL, TT&VH)

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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