Ajax refugee joins Hertha

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

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.

Top