Goalkeeper Filip Nguyễn hopes to soon wear the Vietnamese national jersey. — Photo giaoducthoidai.vn
HÀ NỘI — With the help of the Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF), Czech-Vietnamese goalkeeper Filip Nguyễn has a step towards naturalisation so he can represent the national team.
In a recent online interview with Việt Nam Television (VTV), Nguyễn said he is still carrying out the naturalisation process to fulfil his dream of playing for his country of descent, adding that he hopes he can play for the national team in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers later this year.
Despite being his Vietnamese heritage, Nguyễn doesn’t meet the requirement for five-year permanent residence and Vietnamese language skills, leaving his case unresolved.
The VFF has helped Nguyễn family solve these problems, and the process moved forward recently when the Ministry of Justice instructed the VFF to carry out some procedures.
“We have studied a number of important documents as a basis for Nguyễn’s naturalisation, including Resolution No 36 on the work of Vietnamese living abroad.
“According to this resolution, Việt Nam tries to complete and build a new system of policies to attract and respect talents, promote the contribution of overseas Vietnamese experts to the development of the country, including sports,” Lê Hoài Anh, general secretary of the VFF told thanhnien.vn.
“Nguyễn and his family always look to the homeland and want to contribute to the Vietnamese team. The goalkeeper is also a talented player who deserves to be selected by Việt Nam. The VFF is very eager to have the services of Nguyễn in the Vietnamese team’s jersey so the VFF is supporting his family to carry out legal procedures," Anh added.
As a sports talent, Nguyễn can be exempted from five-year permanent resident status and knowing Vietnamese. The only mandatory requirement for the 27-year-old goalkeeper is to have a Vietnamese name.
Nguyễn, born to a Czech mother and a Vietnamese father (who was born in the northern port city of Hải Phòng), is 1.91m tall – an ideal height for a goalkeeper.
He plays for Sloven Liberec, one of the most successful teams in the Czech Republic with three league titles in the Czech First League and one Czech Cup win since 1993.
Nguyễn is a key player in Slovan Liberec's squad and has kept four clean sheets in their last 10 matches.
As a young player, Nguyễn trained at the ABC Branik Praha Football Institute and used to be on the books of AC Sparta Praha, who have competed in the UEFA Champions League many times.
With the Thai League returning in September, current national team stopper Đặng Văn Lâm, who plays for Muangthong United, is in danger of missing the AFF Cup 2020 at the end of the year, so Nguyễn’s Vietnamese naturalisation would be good news for coach Park Hang-seo.
The South Korean coach has been charged with defending the AFF Cup title and moving to the third qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup. Việt Nam currently lead Group G with an unbeaten record after five matches. — VNS