Football Club confirms that midfielder Arata Izumi will be fielded as a registered Indian player in their squad beginning this season.
The 30-year-old,this week,received his Indian passport following the Government of India acceptance of granting him Indian citizenship,which cleared decks leading Arata to apply.
An elated Arata said,I am extremely happy. It has been a long wait and a tough road to get to this (Indian citizenship).
I appreciate all who supported me,especially my wife,Pune FC and all my supporters who were eagerly waited for this day.
Pune FC meanwhile has extended Aratas contract by two years. Arata will thus carry on playing until the end of the 2013-14 season. Pune FC had signed Arata back in 2009-10 and has played three seasons so far.
Chirag Tanna,Head Operations,Pune FC said,Arata has been an asset to the club on and off the field. We are glad the paperwork for his Indian citizenship is complete and now we all can focus on the season ahead.
Arata,in fact,has been registered as an Indian player for the ongoing 125th Durand Cup in New Delhi. The midfielder played his first match as an Indian citizen against Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on 23rd August.