Indonesia fail to naturalize two players in time for World Cup qualifiers

By Hieu Luong   March 15, 2024 | 03:17 pm PT
Paperwork problems will prevent Thom Haye and Ragnar Oratmangoen from playing for Indonesia against Vietnam on March 21 in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

Haye and Oratmagoen have been present in Jakarta since March 11. But the two could not take the oath of Indonesian citizenship, the final step of the procedure because both of their naturalization documents were only completed on Wednesday.

Another player from the Netherlands, Nathan Tjoe-A-On, took an oath on March 11 upon landing in Indonesia as his naturalization documents were completed at the end of December 2023.

Haye, Tjoe-A-On and Oratmagoen are on the list of 28 Indonesia players called up for two matches against Vietnam on March 21 at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium and March 26 at My Dinh Stadium.

Striker Oratmagoen (yellow shirt) plays for Fortuna Sittard. Photo by Instagram/@0ratmagoen

Striker Oratmagoen (C) plays for Fortuna Sittard. Photo by Instagram/@0ratmagoen

According to Arya Sinulingga, a member of the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI), Indonesia just returned to work after the holiday on March 13, the deadline for submitting the squad list to AFC and FIFA, so there was no time to complete the paperwork for Haye and Oratmagoen for them to join Indonesia against Vietnam on March 21.

PSSI is making efforts so that these two players can play the second leg against Vietnam in Hanoi on March 26.

They must get the players to take the oath, then change their federation from the Netherlands to Indonesia on FIFA’s system.

Haye currently plays for SC Heerenveen in the Dutch national league. The 28-year-old midfielder has played 76 matches and scored six goals.

He and another naturalized Indonesian player, Sandy Walsh, were on the Netherlands squad that won the 2012 U17 European Championship.

Oratmangoen also plays in the Dutch national league, as he is out on loan at Fortuna Sittard from Groningen.

The 25-year-old striker has not scored after 84 matches, since the 2021-2022 season. However, the 1.8 m tall player is still expected to be a good option for Indonesia in the attacking line.

Previously, Indonesia had not successfully naturalized goalkeeper Maarten Paes, who plays for American club FC Dallas. The 25-year-old goalkeeper had problems proving that he had never played for any other national team before Indonesia.

However, the PSSI is confident that Paes will successfully get his Indonesia citizenship before June 2024.

Aside from Haye and Oratmangoen, Indonesia has nine naturalized players in their squad list for the clash with Vietnam: defenders Shayne Pattynama, Jordi Amat, Sandy Walsh, Justin Hubner, Jay Idzes, Nathan Tjoe Aon, midfielders Marc Klok, Ivar Jenner and striker Rafael Struick.

With one point after two matches, Indonesia are currently at the bottom of Group F in the second round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, two points behind second place Vietnam.

Coach Shin Tae-yong is optimistic about the preparation and aims to beat Vietnam both at home and away.

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