La'Vere Corbin-Ong: What do we know of JDT's new naturalised defender?

On Friday, Malaysia Super League (MSL) giants Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) revealed who their new naturalised defender was. FourFourTwo gathers the information on La’Vere Corbin-Ong and finds out whether he is eligible to play for Malaysia...

The Southern Tigers stunned many with the announcement last weekend that Luciano Figueroa and Jorge Pereyra Diaz would be signing, and teased its supporters by revealing they were on the verge of acquiring a naturalised defender and another Asian player to complete their import quota.

On Wednesday, the club released an image indicating the options they had in every position and left two positions – starting ones nonetheless – unoccupied with only a question mark to indicate the incoming duo ahead of Fazly Mazlan and Safawi Rasid respectively.

JDT announced Corbin-Ong as their new naturalised player early Friday morning and are expected to announce their final import signing soon.

Diaz has rejoined JDT

WHO IS CORBIN-ONG?

Born in London, where his parents – Barbadian father Lawrence Corbin and Malaysian mother Elizabeth Ong – were studying psychiatry and nursing respectively, the now 26-year-old moved to Canada at the age of one.

He had lived in Canada from then until venturing to Europe in 2012. He speak English, German and French.

WHERE HAS HE PLAYED?

According to Canada Soccer Association's website, Corbin-Ong was six years old when he started playing football for the Diamond Blacks in Lynn Valley SA – a neighbourhood in North Vancouver.

He played for Capilano University in Canada for a season after high school before joining Major League Soccer (MLS) Vancouver Whitecaps at the age of 19.

Corbin-Ong left Germany for Netherlands in July 2017, signing for second division club Go Ahead Eagles.

He took a leap of faith into Europe in 2012 and had a successful trial with German fifth-division club FC Pommern Greif. He moved to fourth division side Berliner AK 07 two years later.

Corbin-Ong moved to FSV Frankfurt, who were just demoted to the third-tier, ahead of the 2016-17 season before leaving Germany for Netherlands in July 2017, signing for second division club Go Ahead Eagles.

WHAT POSITION DOES HE PLAY?

Corbin-Ong is a natural left-back but he can also play at centre-back, an option JDT could explore if Brazilian Marcos Antonio does not return to his best after a knee injury.

Corbin-Ong can feature as cover for Marcos Antonio (left)

CAN HE PLAY FOR MALAYSIA?

His mixed-heritage status makes him eligible to play for Canada, Barbados, Malaysia and England.

Corbin-Ong, however, has made one appearance for Canada and that may delay attempts to don the Harimau Malaya jersey.

FIFA regulations stipulate that players are not allowed to play for two countries in official competitions

FIFA regulations stipulate that players are not allowed to play for two countries in official competitions, but Corbin-Ong's sole appearance came off the bench in a friendly against Canada in March.

Diego Costa is a perfect example of a situation where a player was allowed to switch nations. The forward played for Brazil in friendlies against Italy and Russia in March 2013 but was allowed to play for Spain after obtaining his new nationality several months later.

Corbin-Ong will need to submit a written request to FIFA and wait from approval from the Players' Status Committee.

Once thing certain is that he will not be allowed to play for Canada as Malaysian law forbids its nationals from holding a dual-citizenship. Corbin-Ong will have to give up his Canadian citizenship.

Photos: Asiana.my, Main Photo: gaewatcher.nl