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Last Updated: Friday, 9 December 2005, 12:38 GMT
Kalou edges closer to Holland
Feyenoord's Ivorian striker Salomon Kalou
Salomon Kalou has turned down offers to play for the Ivory Coast

A Dutch court on Friday ordered the government to re-examine Salomon Kalou's application for citizenship.

The ruling boosts the Ivory Coast-born striker's chances of playing for the Netherlands in next year's World Cup.

The court ordered Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk to look again at Kalou's application for accelerated Dutch naturalisation or appeal against the ruling within six weeks.

The two judges said Kalou was enrolled in Dutch language classes, which is required for applying for citizenship.

They rejected Verdonk's argument that Kalou was likely to be lured away to another European club after he obtains Dutch nationality.

"The court isn't convinced by the minister's arguments," the judgment said.

"The court therefore asks the minister to revisit the case and come up with a new ruling."

Under tough immigration laws, a foreigner must work for five consecutive years in the Netherlands before applying for citizenship. Kalou joined Feyenoord in 2003 at the age of 17.

Kalou won support in his bid for fast-tracked naturalisation from sporting and political figures, including national coach Marco van Basten and the legendary Johan Cruff.

Kalou, who was not in court to hear the decision, is a prolific scorer for Feyenoord in the Dutch league, with 20 goals in 33 games, although he has scored only five goals so far this season.

Kalou turned down an offer to play for the Ivory Coast - making its first World Cup appearance - preferring instead to represent the Netherlands at the finals in Germany next year.

His older brother, Bonaventure, a Paris St. Germain striker who played for Feyenoord for six years before moving to France in 2003, will feature for Ivory Coast in Germany.


SEE ALSO
Van Basten supports Kalou fight
25 Nov 05 |  African
Kalou fights rejection
31 Aug 05 |  African


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