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By ESPN Staff
May 23, 2006

Kalou gives up on being a Dutchman

AMSTERDAM, May 23 (Reuters) - Feyenoord striker Salomon Kalou has given up his quest for Dutch citizenship and wants to play for the Ivory Coast after the World Cup finals.

In an interview with the Dutch weekly magazine Sportweek the younger brother of Ivory Coast captain Bonaventure Kalou said he will no longer pursue his application for a Dutch passport.

'The book is closed and after the World Cup I will do what I promised my brother, play for Ivory Coast,' he said.

'That is all there is left for me because I don't expect to play in the Netherlands much longer. I have to move on with my career and don't want to be held up in my development.'

Supported by Netherlands boss Marco van Basten and the country's former playmaker Johan Cruyff, Kalou applied for Dutch citizenship but was denied by immigration minister Rita Verdonk.

She told parliament in March that Kalou did not fulfil the criteria for fast-track citizenship and would have to retake a Dutch language and culture test.

Earlier this month, a civil court in Rotterdam rejected Kalou's appeal against Verdonk's decision.

Van Basten had guaranteed Kalou a spot in his World Cup squad if he got his Dutch passport and the player's lawyer had said he would persevere with his application.

Together with his brother, Kalou will now decide where to play next and says he prefers a transfer to England or Spain.

According to Dutch media reports Valencia and Chelsea have shown a strong interest in the young striker.

Ivory Coast face the Netherlands in Group C at the World Cup on June 16 as well as Argentina and Serbia & Montenegro.