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Work permit concerns loom as Dheeraj offered contract extension at Motherwell FC

Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem

New Delhi, April 26: India Under-17 goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem has secured a three-year contract with Scottish top division side Motherwell FC, after a two-month training spell at the club.

Dheeraj impressed during the FIFA U-17 World Cup at home last year and was one of the best performers for the hosts.

He had been playing in the I-League for the Indian Arrows till December last year, after which he went on to have a training stint with Kerala Blasters, before making his much-awaited move to Europe, where he was given yet another training stint at Scottish Premiership side Motherwell FC.

His two-month stint proved to be all worth as he was recently offered three-year-contract, according to his agent. However sweet this news might be, it is still a big concern for the 17-year-old.

Football players looking to play in the UK need to fulfil either of two conditions in order to get the work permit -- either their country needs to be higher than 70 in the FIFA rankings, or they must have played 75 per cent or more of the domestic fixtures in their home country. Unfortunately, Dheeraj has not fulfilled either of this condition. Therefore, he needs to wait for another three months to turn 18 and sign a contract according to FIFA regulations.

"He has done well during his time at Motherwell and the club has offered him a three-year contract", the Manipur-based player’s agent Anuj Kichlu was quoted as saying.

"We've to now sort out the work permit which looks challenging.”

However, Dheeraj's agent and representatives from Motherwell FC are confident that the deal can go through, as an exception can be made in his case. Both are hopeful that he could join the club ahead of the upcoming season.

"I 'm happy to know that Motherwell are pleased with my progress in training and I would like to thank the coaching staff and management for this opportunity," Dheeraj added.

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Story first published: Thursday, April 26, 2018, 13:54 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 26, 2018
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