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16th March 2018
East Timor has resumed its controversial use of naturalised Brazilians in competitive internationals, fielding three such players in Asian Cup qualifiers over the past week. An ongoing investigation by FIFA is looking into the Asian nation’s use of naturalised Brazilians in recent World Cup qualifiers.
It was sparked by a complaint from Palestine last October. While the investigation is yet to reach its conclusion, the Timorese stopped selecting its controversial players for the remainder of its World Cup campaign.
But with its quest to make the World Cup over, and a spot in the Asian Cup up for grabs, the Timorese recalled three Brazilians for a two-legged tie against Malaysia over the past few days. This is despite a cloud hanging over the eligibility of such players.
Thailand-based defender Diogo Rangel, Malaysia-based midfielder Juninho and Indonesia-based midfielder Paulo Helber turned out for the Timorese in both matches. Malaysia won 6-0 on aggregate.
East Timor – also known as Timor-Leste – is a former Portugese colony in the Indonesian archipelago. Despite their Lusophonic connections, there is little history of migration between Timor and Brazil. Many of Timor’s naturalised Brazilians now play in the lucrative leagues of Asia.
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