Friday, September 09, 2011


More Foreigners 'Become' Indonesian!

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has reportedly signed a presidential decree on the naturalization of six foreign football players, allowing them to become Indonesian.

“We’ve received a copy of the decree for the naturalized footballers,” said Nurhikmat Hamzah, the head of the Citizenship Naturalization section under the Law and Human Rights Ministry, on Thursday as quoted by

Those footballers are Tonnie Cussell, Stefano Lilipaly, Johny Rudolf van Beukering and Sergio van Dijk — all from the Netherlands and Greg Nwokolo and Victor Chuckwuekezie Igbonefo — both from Nigeria.

Nwokolo currently plays for Persija (Jakarta), while Igbonefo plays for Persipura (Jayapura). No information was immediately available on other naturalized players.

Nurhikmat, however, did not provide details on the decree date or schedule for the oath-taking ceremony for the players.

The naturalization of the players was proposed by the President to the House of Representatives on July 5, 2011. The proposal, granted by the House, was later returned to the State Secretary to be signed by the President, in the form of a presidential decree.

In accordance article 20 of the 2006 Law on Naturalization, the footballers will be awarded citizenship as a reward for what they have done for Indonesia’s interests.

SOURCE - Jakarta Post

COMMENT - Wow, this is getting out of hand. At least in Singapore there is some period of time a player must stay in the country before becoming eligible for the national team. OK, the first four players do have Indonesian ancestors, I'm not sure how back they go, while Igbenefo has certainly qualified by having spent five years here like Cristian Gonzales. But Nwokolo? Good player, yes. But what has he done for Indonesia's interests?

Also, I wonder if these guys have read the small print? The small print that says Indonesia does not recognise dual nationality. Say goodbye to your EU passports lads.

You can naturalise them for whatever reasons but but it may not be valid in FIFA rules as there are eligibility criteria to play for a adopted country...
Van Dijk's Indonesian roots go back at least one generation, probably more. Greg strikes me as a bit of a mercenary. If memory serves, he was in the Young Lions set-up when he first came over to SE Asia. He'd probably qualify for Indonesian residency if not for that brief sojourn to Portugal.

In any case, this is the last set of foreigners the PSSI will vouch for, if you believe the PSSI.
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