Barcelona own goal no bar for Spanish citizen

SHAFAQNA – A Moroccan man whose appeal for Spanish citizenship was turned down when he failed to name the home of Barcelona football club has had the decision overturned. Spain’s high court has granted nationality to the man, named as D Rodrigo, whose claim was initially rejected by the justice ministry. Among his saving graces was recalling that Goya was a famous painter.

The initial ruling turned on the judgment that Mr Rodrigo had failed to show that he had properly adapted to life in Spain.

Although he had taken courses on Spanish culture and society and received favourable reports, he failed to answer 17 out of 31 questions in a test. Apart from being unaware that Barcelona play football at Camp Nou, Mr Rodrigo was also stumped when it came to naming a television celebrity who had an affair with a bullfighter. A judge concluded that he had “failed really basic questions on the country whose nationality he means to acquire”.

However, the high court ruled that several of his mistakes were “anecdotal” and that “lack of integration could hardly be justified on that basis”. He was familiar with Spanish newspapers, geography and cuisine, as well as Goya and General Franco.

Mr Rodrigo has legally resided in Spain since 1999 — although his wife and children live in Morocco – and speaks good Spanish.

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