Wanderley banned, Al Nasr fined in fake passport scandal

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) " Brazil-born forward Santos Monteiro Wanderley received a backdated three-month ban and his Dubai-based club Al Nasr was fined after being found guilty on Friday of faking documents so he could play in the Asian Champions League.

Wanderley and Al Nasr admitted using a forged or falsified document, the Asian Football Confederation said in a statement.

Wanderley was provisionally suspended on Sept. 2 when it was alleged a forged Indonesian passport was used for him to qualify as an Asian player.

Each club in the Asian Champions League is allowed to field three foreign players and a non-national from another Asian country.

Wanderley was fined $10,000 and suspended for three months. Al Nasr was fined $50,000, ordered to return $340,000 in prize money from this year's league, and given a suspended two-year ban from the tournament.

The disciplinary panel concluded the United Arab Emirates club "Al Nasr bore the majority of the fault for the violation, having deliberately obtained an Indonesian passport for the purpose of circumventing the 3+1 rule, and that its employees were not truthful in their collaboration with the AFC," the statement said.

The committee found Wanderley at fault for agreeing to be registered as Indonesian but not being an Indonesian national. His suspension was backdated to Sept. 2.

The case developed in August after Wanderley scored twice in Al Nasr's 3-0 win over El Jaish of Qatar in the first leg of an Asian Champions League quarterfinal.

Wanderley's goals alerted media in Indonesia, which speculated on his recruitment to the national team, ranked No. 179 among FIFA's 211 member federations.

The justice ministry said no Indonesian passport had ever been issued to the player, who joined Al Nasr in June from another club in the UAE, Sharjah.

The AFC overturned the first-leg result and Al Nasr forfeited the first-leg match as a 3-0 loss. The club was eliminated despite winning the return match 1-0.

The Asian governing body said it was investigating other suspected cases of players using fake passports.

FIFA also has an ongoing year-long investigation into possible ineligible players. The East Timor federation is suspected of involvement in naturalizing several Brazilians for selection in 2018 World Cup qualifying matches. East Timor is already eliminated from the competition.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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