Kalou wants to play for Ivory Coast
23 May 2006, AMSTERDAM — Feyenoord striker Salomon Kalou wants to play for his native Ivory Coast after the World Cup in Germany this summer.
23 May 2006
AMSTERDAM — Feyenoord striker Salomon Kalou wants to play for his native Ivory Coast after the World Cup in Germany this summer.
The Feyenoord striker revealed this during an interview with magazine 'Sportweek' which was published on Tuesday.
This is a significant change in his plans as he has been involved in very public battle with Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk in recent months over his attempts to get a Dutch passport.
Kalou applied for accelerated naturalisation to enable him to play for the Netherlands in the World Cup. Verdonk decided he was not eligible for fast-track naturalisation.
Despite pleas by Dutch coach Marco van Basten and Dutch football legend Johan Cruijff, Verdonk ruled that Kalou did not merit quick naturalisation on the basis of being an outstanding talent. A court confirmed her decision.
Had he made it on to the Dutch World Cup squad, Kalou would likely have played against his brother, Bonaventure, who is a member of the Ivory Coast team. The two sides are to play each other in Stuttgart on 16 June.
"The book is closed. After the World Cup I will go and do what I promised by brother Bonaventura: play for Ivory Coast. Everyone knows I really wanted to appear with the Dutch 11 in the World Cup," Kalou said.
"I tried everything to achieve this; national coach Marco van Basten and Minister Cruijff did everything possible. Only Madam Verdonk didn't want that. There is no alternative - I don't expect to play for much longer in the Netherlands. I have to move on with my career, [I] don't want my development to stand still."
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news