National team boss Choi Kang-Hee wants the Brazil-born attacker available for selection but the Korean Olympic Committee doesn't agree, citing his lack of language skills
Taeguk Warriors coach Choi Kang-Hee has pushed for the 31-year-old Brazil-born attacker, who has spent the past five years in South Korea, to become an eligible national team player with dual nationality.
Following the Korean Football Association's (KFA) failed request a fortnight ago, the organisation updated its data for the latest attempt.
However, the KOC has rejected the bid for citizenship, citing his lack of Korean language skills. Under the guidelines of the naturalisation, the person must benefit the nation with a special talent.
The final decision ultimately relies on the justice ministry although they are likely to follow the KOC's recommendation according to officials.
“There as lot of debate and thoughtful consideration, but we didn’t find significant factors to change our original result from the first review,” KOC Secretary General Choi Jong-Jun told reporters.
“Special naturalisation gives a person dual citizenship and waives naturalisation tests, but in exchange for that, a basic understanding of Korean culture and language is essential. However, we thought he lacked effort in those parts.”
The dual citizenship law, which was enacted two years ago, has never seen a foreign star play for the national football team, although there has been successful applications in basketball and ice skating.
KFA technical committee head Hwangbo Kwan said the organisation accepted the decision and would now focus on World Cup qualifying.
South Korea begins its final round 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign on June 8 against Qatar.