News 1 September 2016

Brazilian footballer playing in UAE with false Indonesian passport

Indonesian authorities have alleged that Brazilian player Wanderley Santos Monteiro Junior is playing for Al Nasr in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) using a false Indonesian passport. The finding was announced at an Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights press conference yesterday in Jakarta, reports Topskor. Officials reportedly said that an Indonesian passport had never been issued in Santos’s name, and that further investigations revealed that the player had never been to Indonesia. Al Nasr and the UAE football association have yet to release statements.

In 2009, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) introduced a Rule 33.1 to its AFC Champions League Competition Regulations. This allows each participating club to register three ‘non-citizen or foreign participating players’, plus ‘one additional non-citizen or foreign participating player who has the nationality of a member association’. It is understood that a number of players from Brazil and Chile have been unduly given Asian passports as a way of cheating this rule.

On 12 August, The Sports Integrity Initiative reported how the UAE Gulf League had been named in two investigations into alleged passport fraud. Last year, the UAE was asked to investigate one club’s claim that a rival player – who had only just been transferred from Brazil – was playing using the passport of an elderly Uzbekistani woman. The complaint was later withdrawn.

The second AFC investigation involves East Timor’s use of Brazilian players. This is a separate investigation to the one launched by FIFA last year, after the Timorese fielded seven Brazilian-born players in a World Cup qualifier against Palestine. Many of the recently naturalised players have never been selected for Timor’s national team, but do play in Asian leagues, including the UAE’s. A number of Brazilian-Timorese players advertise ‘Asian passport’ on their Twitter and YouTube accounts.

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