LYON - Six-time French champions Lyon have been given the green light to search for another two non-European players.
Brazilian midfield star Juninho has been awarded a French passport, and league chiefs have bowed to a request for the club to be able to replace injured Brazilian defender Cris with another non-European.
Club president Jean-Michel Aulas announced on the club's website that Juninho, who joined the club in 2001, had been awarded dual nationality on Friday. That allows Lyon to sign another non-European, and Aulas could now be looking to add another after the French Professional League (LFP) bowed to his request to be able to replace Cris.
Aulas said: "We can now sign two non-European players, if we feel the need."
Clubs in Uefa's jurisdiction are allowed only four non-European players. Lyon currently have four, all of whom are Brazilian: Juninho, Cris, Fred and Fabio Santos.
Cris, who is bidding to be awarded a Portuguese passport, has been ruled out for six months after sustaining a serious knee injury on August 11.
Lyon have dominated the French championship for the past six seasons but are in mid-table with one win and two defeats from three matches, including a 2-1 loss to Lorient on Saturday. - Sapa-AFP