Spanish footballer Bienvenido Marañon and Angelo Kouame’s naturalization bid took place at the same time, but only Kouame was naturalized as of yesterday that made Philippine Football Federation (PFF) President Nonong Araneta wonder.

/ 19 May 2021

“It is unfortunate that Bienve wasn’t able to get his naturalization on the same day as Angelo, as both of them went through the process together,” Araneta stated in a statement. 

Nonetheless, Araneta averred that the league understood that the COVID-19 kept the processing of papers at a roadblock.

“As of Tuesday, 18 May 2021, we are still waiting for Bienvenido Marañon’s naturalization as a Filipino. We understand the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in the process which may have stalled Bienve’s papers in Congress,” Araneta said.

However, the footballer’s run for the Philippine Azkals on June 4 at the 2023 AFC Asian Cup/2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers is as important as Kouame’s bid to Gilas for their next fights in FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

So, there’s nothing left to do but to wait as Araneta expressed.

“We were hoping that the urgency of our situation would have made the process of Bienve’s naturalization faster. But with the current situation, we are facing the prospect of not having Bienve in the team for the remaining matches, considering the numerous requirements he has to comply with before he can suit up for the country,” he noted. 

“We remain patient and hopeful that Bienvenido Marañon can join the national team in the future.”