The Court of Rotterdam has finally put paid to Salomon Kalou’s World Cup dream after throwing out the player’s latest appeal against Minister Verdonk’s decision not to fast-track the Ivorian’s citizenship application. Contrary to earlier decisions in December and January, the court feels that the minister’s arguments are strong enough to stand up to scrutiny.

‘It hasn’t made the situation any clearer, now that the judges are contradicting each other,’ says Kalou’s counsel Jelle Kroes. ‘We are still convinced that Salomon meets the conditions for fast-track naturalisation. So – for the third time – we had expected a positive ruling from the court. It is obvious that this closes the book on the 2006 World Cup for good. But Salomon’s wish to play for Holland remains unchanged. That is why we are deliberating an appeal to the Council of State’s Administrative Law Department.’ 

National coach Marco van Basten: ‘Despite the small chance that remained, I had hoped for Salomon that things would turn out alright for the World Cup. I certainly think he would have deserved it. Now Salomon has to focus on the European Championship qualifiers. It is especially a shame for him that the case still hasn’t been finalised after eighteen months.’

FIFA requires the final World Cup squads to be submitted by 15 May.

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