Mexican football hit by alleged false nationality papers scandal

  • Other Sport
  • Sunday, 18 May 2003

MEXICO CITY: Mexico will check the naturalisation papers of 23 foreign-born football players after media reports alleged that a Brazilian had forged his papers. 

“We're going to ask the foreign relations secretariat for an investigation into the 23 naturalised (players) because we don't want any more surprises,” Mexican federation (FMF) president Alberto de la Torre told a news conference on Friday. 

Local media reported on Friday that Brazilian Joao Batista, who plays for Colibries, had used a false naturalisation letter to obtain a Mexican passport in December. 

They said the Mexican government investigated Batista earlier this month when he was arranging for his family to join him in Mexico and the alleged false letter, dated in November, was discovered. 

If Batista is found to have falsified his papers, his club could be sanctioned with the loss of points in the matches in which the Brazilian has played. 

But Colibries president Jorge Rodriguez said: “We have no fears, we have nothing to do with the problem.” 

A number of foreign players have sought Mexican nationality since 2001 when it was granted to Argentine midfielder Gabriel Caballero who was included in the country's 2002 World Cup squad amid widespread criticism from Mexican players, media and fans. – Reuters 

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