By Adrian Stewart Co
Ceres-Negros FC midfielder Bienvenido Marañon and striker Robert Lopez Mendy are both under consideration for naturalization after Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri filed bills earlier this month seeking to grant each player Philippine citizenship.
Senate Bill 1391, which advocates for Marañon, noted, “He dreams of building a family in this country and raising his children surrounded by the kindness, humility, and hospitality that Filipinos are known for.”
“He also aspires to represent the Philippines as part of the national team, vying in international competitions, and make the country known as one of the top teams in the world of football,” the bill added.
Mendy’s bill, Senate Bill 1390, indicated a similar goal of representing the Philippines on the international stage.
“He dreams to become part of the Philippine national soccer team and contribute in bringing honor and glory to the Philippines as it joins more international competitions in the future,” the bill stated.
The proposal also expressed the footballer’s intent to further develop the sport in the country.
“It is his desire to play an integral part in developing football in the country and helping mold the youth to become competitive and at the same time teach them to uphold the ideals of sportsmanship and fair play,” the bill added.
According to FIFA rules, foreign players are allowed to play as naturalized players provided that they have lived in their adopted nation for at least five years after they turned 18 and never played for their native country’s national team prior to their decision to undergo naturalization./ASC, WDJ