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Israel naturalizes soccer players

Israel granted citizenship to two foreign-born players on its national soccer team so they could qualify for the Euro 2008 tournament.Interior Minister Roni Bar-On acceded to urgent requests by the Israel Football Association that Roberto Colautti and Toto Tamuz be naturalized in time for the soccer tournament.The move was prompted by a recent decision of the international soccer body FIFA to require that all players be citizens of the countries they represent. Neither Colautti, of Argentina, nor Tamuz, of Nigeria, is Jewish, though Colautti is married to an Israeli and Tamuz grew up in Israel.

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