Croatia Seeks to Naturalize Korean Soccer Player for Its National Team

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In the past, South Korea sought granting citizenship to imported foreign players to imported foreign players in order to improve its national soccer team. However, due to Korea’s strong sense of ethnic nationalism, the country opted not to naturalize these foreign athletes each time it faced overwhelming public opposition.

In the case of Korean soccer player Chung Woon, the tables have turned.

Croatia, a country with a national soccer team that is ranked 19th in the world (Korea is ranked 69th) by FIFA, is currently attempting to naturalize Chung after the 25-year-old’s impressive two-year stint in its top-flight professional soccer league.

“Croatia’s soccer federation made an offer to Chung to obtain citizenship,” said the player’s agent, Lee Gyeong-won, according to South Korean newspaper Ilgan Sports. “Talks have already taken place to make Chung a member of the Croatian national team. Discussions are already 90 percent complete.”

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