Indonesia player naturalized overnight at airport for Vietnam clash

By Minh Khang   March 13, 2024 | 03:22 am PT
Dutch-born defender Nathan Tjoe-A-On arrived in Indonesia at night and immediately underwent naturalization procedures at the airport to make the squad list for the two World Cup qualifiers against Vietnam.
Nathan Tjoe-A-On plays for SC Heerenveen in Dutch league Eredivisie. Photo by Eredivisie

Nathan Tjoe-A-On plays for SC Heerenveen in Dutch league Eredivisie. Photo by Eredivisie

Tjoe-A-On arrived in Indonesia on Monday night alongside two other Dutch-born players, Thom Haye and Ragnar Oratmangoen.

The three players were persuaded by the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) to naturalize and were included by coach Shin Tae-yong in the national team's roster in preparation for the two matches against Vietnam in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers on March 21 and 26.

Upon his arrival, Tjoe-A-On was taken to undergo the naturalization and took and oath. The ceremony took place at the immigration office of the airport, instead of at the human rights office as usual, Bola Sport reported.

According to the regulations, to represent the Indonesia national team, these Dutch-born players must undergo naturalization, after which PSSI will report to FIFA and request an international transfer certificate.

Tjoe-A-On had to take the oath at midnight right at the airport to make the squad list against the Vietnam, which must be submitted to AFC and FIFA by the deadline of March 13.

To prepare for the two games against Vietnam, coach Shin called up 28 players, including 10 naturalized players.

Among them, six had played at the 2023 Asian Cup.

Before Tjoe-A-On, Jay Idzes had completed his naturalization, leaving only Haye and Oratmangoen without Indonesian citizenship.

The schedule for the oath-taking of naturalization for the two players has not been determined.

Indonesia will host Vietnam at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta, at 8:30 p.m. on March 21. The second leg will take place at 7 p.m. on March 26 at My Dinh Stadium, Hanoi.

The results of these two matches will be crucial for the advancing chance to the third qualifying round of both teams. Currently, Vietnam are second in group F with three points after two matches, three points behind Iraq and two points ahead of Indonesia and Philippines.

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