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Ajax refugee joins Hertha

Published: Friday 30 August 2002, 18.05CET
Hertha BSC Berlin have signed AFC Ajax's Nando Rafael after he was barred from playing in Holland.

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Published: Friday 30 August 2002, 18.05CET

Ajax refugee joins Hertha

Hertha BSC Berlin have signed AFC Ajax's Nando Rafael after he was barred from playing in Holland.

Hertha BSC Berlin have signed AFC Ajax's teenage striker Nando Rafael in a transfer made necessary by Dutch employment law.

Four more years
The 18-year-old Angolan has put pen to paper on a four-year contract at Hertha after he was refused a work permit by the Dutch government. By law, Rafael was unable to play professionally in the Netherlands because he had entered the country as an asylum-seeker.

War child
Rafael had arrived as a refugee from the Angolan civil war and joined Ajax as an 11-year-old. However, according to the Dutch Employment Service, there had been no legally-binding contract between player and club. "Playing in the Dutch league is seen as work according to Dutch law, and if a club has employed an asylum-seeker then it is illegal," said a spokesman.

The new Kluivert
Dubbed the 'new Patrick Kluivert', Rafael had agreed a three-year contract with the Amsterdammers, having scored 20 goals in 23 games for the club's reserve team last season.

Last updated: 30/08/02 19.29CET

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