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2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers: China names 5 naturalized gamers to 26-man squad forward of essential matches

China, which has huge ambitions however nonetheless underperforms ranked 77th on the earth, began signing foreign-born gamers in 2019 in a fast repair to achieve the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

File picture of naturalized Chinese language attacker Elkeson. AP

Shanghai: China on Monday named 5 foreign-born gamers for essential World Cup qualifiers beginning on the finish of the month because the world’s most populous nation steps up its controversial naturalization coverage.

China, which has huge ambitions however nonetheless underperforms ranked 77th on the earth, began signing foreign-born gamers in 2019 in a fast repair to achieve the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Coach Li Tie has chosen a 26-man squad that features a trio of attacking gamers from Brazil – Elkeson, Fernando Henrique and Alan Carvalho.

His Guangzhou FC teammate Tyias Browning, the previous Liverpool-born Everton center-back who performed for England’s youth groups.

The fifth naturalized participant is Nico Yennaris, former Arsenal midfielder and one other to have performed for England’s youth groups earlier than transferring to China.

Of their earlier World Cup qualifier, a 2-1 loss to Syria underneath former coach Marcello Lippi in November 2019, solely Elkeson and Yennaris have been featured.

Some Chinese language media, worldwide consultants and alumni have questioned the choice to usher in overseas gamers.

China’s hopes of reaching the World Cup are on the road, however Li is boosted by the return of star striker Wu Lei, after he did not make latest coaching squads as a result of ‘he was along with his Spanish membership Espanyol.

Led by former Everton participant Li – who took over when Lippi stepped down after the loss in Syria – China are second in Group A within the Asian qualifier, eight factors behind the Syrian chief.

Solely the crew that finishes first is assured to achieve the subsequent stage of qualifying.

The remaining Group A matches are set in China from Might 30 to June 15, with the hosts taking over Guam, Maldives, Philippines and Syria.

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