Platt, Lalande, Linglet now Belarus citizens
MINSK, 17 February (BelTA) – HC Dinamo Minsk players Geoff Platt, Kevin Lalande and Charles Linglet are now Belarusian citizens. The President of Belarus reviewed the citizenship applications of the Canadian ice hockey players and the petition of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism and signed a decree to grant Belarusian citizenship to the three Dinamo players, said Alexei Begun, the head of the citizenship and migration department at the Interior Ministry.
As a rule, Belarus’ naturalization process takes 7 years. However, the law provides for exceptions for certain categories of people. “According to the Citizenship Law Art. 14, the seven-year residency requirement may not be applied to the persons in recognition of their outstanding service to the Republic of Belarus, high achievements in science, technology, culture and sports, or in respect of people who have the profession and qualifications that are of public interest for Belarus. In this case, additional petitions are required to justify the need of the country for such people. In our case the petition came from the Ministry of Sport and Tourism,” Alexei Begun said.
Keeping in mind the forthcoming Olympics 2014 and the IIHF World Championship due in Minsk in 2014, the HC Dinamo Minsk and the Belarusian Ice Hockey Federation encouraged this idea.
In KHL four seasons, Geoff Platt scored 111 (59+52) points in 166 games for Dinamo Minsk, which is the team’s record. The forward scored 7 (4+3) points in seven postseason games.
24-year-old goaltender Kevin Lalande and 29-year-old forward Charles Linglet joined HC Dinamo Minsk this season. The two players also got interested in the proposal to get the Belarusian citizenship.
In 33 games Dinamo rookie goalie Kevin Lalande went with 91.7% save percentage. Charles Linglet played 47 games, scoring 24 (10+14) points.