East Timor revokes passports of nine Brazil-born players

Updated 22 March 2017
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East Timor revokes passports of nine Brazil-born players

KUALA LUMPUR: East Timor has revoked the passports of nine Brazil-born players on its national team following revelations they had submitted falsified documents, Asia’s football governing body said Wednesday.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said it received information from East Timor’s justice ministry through Dili’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur that the passports have been declared “null and void.”
The nine players will no longer be able to register in any competition under East Timor, the AFC said.
A further enquiry on the status of the passports of “a number of other players” was also carried out, it said without saying what action had been taken following the probe.
AFC’s disciplinary committee in January banned East Timor from the 2023 AFC Asian Cup after uncovering a scandal in which the country’s football association submitted forged documents for 12 Brazil-born players.
The forgery involved birth or baptismal certificates showing that one or both of the players’ parents were born in East Timor, which made them eligible to play for the country.
Nine of the 12 players had participated in 29 matches under the AFC and seven tournaments under the world football governing body FIFA between 2012 and 2016, according to the AFC.
The influx of naturalized Brazilian players had seen the tiny nation, with a population of around 1.2 million people, shoot up the rankings from the football wilderness.
Ranked 205 globally in 2011, the football minnows jumped to their best ever ranking of 170 in 2015.
Palestine in October 2015 lodged a complaint with FIFA after East Timor fielded seven Brazil-born players in a 1-1 draw, but no action was taken.
East Timor stopped fielding Brazil-born players following the complaint and suffered heavy losses in subsequent matches to UAE (8-0), Saudi Arabia (10-0) and Palestine (7-0).
They started fielding Brazil-born players again in the Asian Cup qualifiers in June 2016 against Malaysia.
Days later, the AFC in conjunction with FIFA opened an investigation into the eligibility of certain footballers.
East Timor has a current world ranking of 194.


Jordan ready to unleash more shocks in Asian Cup second round

Updated 42 min 35 sec ago
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Jordan ready to unleash more shocks in Asian Cup second round

  • Borkelmans' boys not finished with the giant-killing in the UAE.
  • Jordan beat both Australia and Syria in the group stage and are confident they can go far.

LONDON: They may have surprised a few fans and rivals, but Jordan insist they have not stopped with the shocks in the UAE.
Australia and Syria were the two teams widely expected to coast through to the knockout stages from Group B. But Vital Borkelmans’ team ignored the form book and beat both the Socceroos and Syrians, before the final game 0-0 draw with Palestine, to top the pool.
And having got a taste of giantkilling Jordan are after more.
“We tried to get a maximum nine points from the group stage, but we couldn’t. We are, though, grateful we got a point from the game against Palestine and that we have qualified as group leaders,” Jordan midfielder Abdel Rahman said.
“This is the fourth Asian Cup for (us) and we have managed to advance and keep a clean sheet in all three of our group stage games.
“The Jordanian team doesn’t fear any other team. We are a humble side and we respect any team that we play. We will strive to do our best in the next round.”
Borkelmens’ boys are yet to concede a goal in the UAE and that dogged defense will be key as to whether they can continue their run at a first Asian Cup title. They are yet to learn who they will face in the second-round clash in Dubai on Sunday but it is clear that along with the defense, the side’s passionate fans will also be key to their chances of making the quarterfinals.
“The fans (have been) great. I really hope they keep supporting us in the upcoming stages,” Rahman said.

The message of confidence is clearly permeating through the camp with Borkelmans saying his team fear no one. 

“I am happy, we got seven points and three clean sheets, something I would have taken before the tournament,” the coach said.

“We do not know our Round of 16 opponents yet, but I know that we have already started working. My players have a lot of confidence and they are positive.

“I hope we can do something in the next round. Indeed, every round we progress to, we will have the confidence to go even further.”