KFA to pursue Eninho citizenship despite Korean Sports Organisation not endorsing application

The Brazil-born attacking midfielder could become the first naturalised footballer to play for the Taeguk Warriors, but public opinion is against the idea
Korea's Sports Organisation (KSO) has recommended against Jeonbuk Motors' Brazilian star Eninho gaining South Korean citizenship.

The Korean Football Association (KFA) applied to earn the 30-year-old a special citizenship in order to allow him to play for the Taeguk Warriors.

Public opinion has been against the Brazil-born attacking midfielder, who has played in the K-League since 2007, becoming the first naturalised player to play for South Korea. And at a Wednesday meeting, the KSO recommended against Eninho getting the special citizenship.

It is understood South Korea coach Choi Kang-Hee, who previously worked with Eninho at Jeonbuk, is keen to have the attacking midfielder available for national team selection and despite the KSO's recommendation, the KFA will proceed in attempting to gain him a special citizenship through the Department of Justice.

An anonymous KSO staff member told reporters: "The recommendation from the KSO is not really decisive to get citizenship. We literally 'recommend' someone to the Department of Justice.

"I heard that KFA will ask Department of Justice directly, we have no problem with it."

To qualify for the special citizenship, a person must prove they would "benefit the nation" and have lived in Korea for five consecutive years.

Eninho, who has been named in the K-League Best XI on three occasions, moved to Korean club Daegu in 2007, after a previous stint in 2003 with Suwon Bluewings. The attacking midfielder moved on to Motors ahead of the 2009 campaign.

Suwon's Montenegro-born striker Dzenan Radoncic applied for the same citizenship late last year but was denied it having playing the second half of the 2007 season with Japan's Ventforet Kofu.

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