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Brazilian-born goalkeeper gets Vietnamese citizenship

Brazilian-born goalkeeper gets Vietnamese citizenship

Vietnam has granted citizenship to a foreign soccer player for the first time, making it possible for the Brazilian-born goalkeeper to play for the national team, officials said Wednesday.
President Nguyen Minh Triet signed a decision Tuesday to grant citizenship to Fabio Dos Santos, a player with Dong Tam Long An in the topflight V-League, the club's executive director Pham Phu Hoa said.
Santos, 27, is the first foreign soccer player to be granted Vietnamese citizenship, Hoa said. He has been playing for Dong Tam Long An for the past five years.
"Santos is Vietnam's best goalkeeper at the moment, and his chances of being called for the national squad are very high," Hoa said.
Tran Quoc Tuan, the general secretary of the Vietnam Football Federation, praised the decision.
"This is very good for Vietnam's soccer," Tuan said. "It reflects that V-League is very attractive to foreign players."
"It may pave the way for other foreign players to join Vietnamese citizenship," he said.
Under V-League rules, each team in the 14-team league can register five foreign players, but are only allowed to field three of them at a time.
"We can now field Santos and three other foreign players in a match," Hoa said.
Currently there are more than 100 foreign players, many of them from Thailand and African countries, playing in the V-League and the first division.
Dong Tam Long An came in second in the V-League last season. The new season starts Jan. 6.


Updated : 2021-07-29 08:10 GMT+08:00