Paramaribo (Suriname), Jul 14: Intending to cash in on the abundance of Surinamese football talent playing abroad, the Suriname Football Federation (SVB) has drafted legislation that it hopes might lead the Dutch-speaking nation to a spot in the next World Cup.
SVB chairman John Krishnadath has presented the legislative draft to National Assembly Speaker Jennifer Geerlings-Simons, reports CMC. The draft legislation came against the backdrop of the Netherlands, with Suriname-born players, making it to the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil.
In a letter accompanying the legislative initiative, Krishnadath noted that based on the positioning of the Caribbean and Central American region and considering all the Surinamese talent abroad, Suriname would have a realistic chance to make it to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
He compared Suriname’s chances to the success Algeria claimed in qualifying for the Brazil World Cup, after the African nation allowed players with different nationalities to wear their colours.
“Algeria had no less than 17 football players who were born in France. Dual nationality could work for Suriname as well,” said Krishnadath. More than 100 Surinamese players currently turn out in the Dutch professional leagues, but none of these overseas professionals are eligible to represent Suriname.
Players with hopes of making it in football usually leave the country from a young age and once they assume a different nationality, cannot play for Suriname again. Suriname-born players have long played key roles in the success of the Netherlands side, with the likes of Clarence Seedorf, Edgar Davids, Patrick Kluivert, Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit having had outstanding success at international level.
Suriname, however, have never qualified for a World Cup, and only once came close, when they made it to the final group stage of qualifying for the 1978 tournament. Krishnadath hopes Parliament will table the legislative initiative soon.
Only last week, the topic of dual nationality was broached in parliament, during discussions about the new law that governs the acquisition of Surinamese nationality.