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Sunderland announce Lierse link-up

Sunderland have announced a partnership with Belgian side Lierse SK in a bid to fast-track some of Africa's brightest talents to Wearside.

Sunderland made a similar move last year as they announced a partnership with Ghanaian side Kotoko, as well as agreeing a lucrative shirt sponsorship deal with 'Invest in Africa'.

Sunderland will look to take African players to Lierse to provide them with the opportunity to test themselves on the European stage, and they will also qualify for Belgian citizenship after three years, instead of the five years required in the UK.

Should any players make an immediate impact, Sunderland would be able to apply for a special talent visa, which if granted would allow them to move to Wearside immediately.

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