PFF rues delay in Marañon naturalization
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Football Federation lamented the delay of the naturalization bid of Spanish striker Bienvenido Marañon with the resumption of the joint FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup qualifiers just several weeks away.
PFF president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta wondered why Marañon has yet to be granted Filipino citizenship while Gilas Pilipinas’ Angelo Kouame’s naturalization has already been signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday.
“As of Tuesday, 18 May 2021, we are still waiting for Bienvenido Marañon’s naturalization as a Filipino. We understand the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in the process which may have stalled Bienve’s papers in Congress,” Araneta said in a statement.
Just in ❤️🇵🇭 One step closer.
Here we go kababayan 🙌🏽💪🏽⚽️ https://t.co/QGdz56L7zI
— Bienve Marañon (@Bienvecadiz86) May 18, 2021
“It is unfortunate that Bienve wasn’t able to get his naturalization on the same day as Angelo as both of them went through the process together.”
The delay may cause Marañon to miss the Azkals’ campaign in the qualifiers, which begins on June 3 in Suzhou, China.
“We were hoping that the urgency of our situation would have made the process of Bienve’s naturalization faster. But with the current situation, we are facing the prospect of not having Bienve in the team for the remaining matches, considering the numerous requirements he has to comply with before he can suit up for the country,” said Araneta.
“We remain patient and hopeful that Bienvenido Marañon can join the national team in the future.”