21. 10. 2019

KOR M: Korean volleyball gets first-ever naturalized player in its history

Source: yna.co.kr; Photo: Nora Tam/yp.scmp.com

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Korean volleyball is about to get the first-ever naturalized player in its history.

 

Hong Kong-born male volleyball player Alex Chan Chi-Wai has passed the second filter in acquiring Korean nationality.

The 26-year-old middle blocker of Incheon Korean Air Jumbos was recommended for obtaining Korean citizenship by the country’s volleyball association. His naturalization now needs to be approved by the Justice Department. In the current Korean law, there is a paragraph that says a foreign athlete can be naturalized if he/she has excellent ability in certain fields such as science, economy, culture and sports and is recognized as being able to contribute to national interest with his/her special talents. In the past few years, four basketball players changed their sports nationalities in accordance with this section of the law.

In case the Korean Justice Department gives a green light in his case, Alex is likely to be used by the Korea National Team during the 2022 Asian Games. That is because he needs to wait for, at least, two years upon changing the sports nationality, which the rule set by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB). He participated in the two Summer Universiades (2013 and 2017) and in the 2014 Asian Games as a member of the Hong Kong National Team.

 

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