John Hou Saeter Becomes China’s First Naturalized Football Player

Professional football player John Hou Saeter has become the first-ever player to be naturalized as a Chinese citizen after getting his ID card.

Hou, whose Chinese name is Hou Yongyong, received the citizen ID card on Tuesday, according to state-owned media CGTN. With this ID, Hou Saeter will become eligible to register with the Chinese Football Association (CFA) and play on the Chinese national team.

The 21-year-old Norweigan-born football player, who was born to a Chinese mother and Norweigan father, transferred from Norway’s top professional football league to Beijing Sinobo Guoan of the Chinese Super League in January.

Since he has become a naturalized Chinese citizen, Hou Saeter has abandoned his Norwegian nationality as China does not allow dual citizenship. He is now able to fulfill his mother’s wish for him to play for China’s national team.

Hou Saeter will play alongside Nico Yennaris, another naturalization candidate playing for the Beijing Guoan. Yennaris, whose Chinese name is Li Ke, was born to a Chinese mother and Cypriot father in London, United Kingdom, and played for Arsenal before coming to China, Shanghaiist reported.

Featured images via CGTN (left) and Shanghaiist (right)

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