Friday, July 11, 2008
Gooch Picks Up A Second Passport
Friday in Brussels it was made official that Oguchi Onyewu is not only a US but also now a Belgian citizen. His naturalization, along with that of Standard teammate Mohamed Tchité was, made official in the Belgian government's Bulletin of Acts, Orders and Decrees posted at the end of the week.
By picking up an EU passport, Onyewu makes himself more attractive to teams in countries with restrictions on the number of non-EU players which can be on the field at one time. In France, only four non-EU players can be on the pitch at the same time while five are allowed in Italy's Serie A. The Spanish Primera allows only a maximum of three.
Meanwhile, FIFA has sought to apply such restrictions throughout Europe, although the European Union has sued the global soccer federation, citing violations of European labor law. Regardless, by picking up an EU passport, Onyewu has now removed a potential obstacle to moving to a bigger club this fall.