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.


Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

Updated 23 March 2019
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Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

SHARJAH: Aaron Finch's fine century drove Australia to a convincing eight-wicket win over a new-look Pakistan in the first one-day international on Friday.
The Austraian skipper scored 116 off 135 balls for his 12th one-day international century that helped his team overhaul the 281-run target in 49 overs on a flat Sharjah stadium pitch.
The win gives Australia the lead in the five-match series and has come on the back of their 3-2 series win in India earlier this month.
Finch's match-winning knock overshadowed Haris Sohail's maiden one-day hundred (101 not out) which helped Pakistan to 280-5 in their 50 overs.
The 32-year-old smashed Shoaib Malik for a huge six towards deep mid-wicket to complete his century -- his first since June last year against England at Chester-Le-Street -- off 120 balls.
Finch, who knocked four sixes and eight boundaries, added an innings-building 172 runs for the second wicket with Shaun Marsh who scored an unbeaten 91 off 102 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.
With 46 needed Finch became Mohammad Abbas's maiden wicket but Peter Handscomb hit 30 not out to help Marsh cross the line.
Finch and Marsh came together after opener Usman Khawaja fell for 24 to medium pacer Faheem Ashraf, the only other success Pakistan's new-look bowling attack could achieve.
Pakistan rested six of their key players including regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed in order to keep them fresh for the World Cup starting in UK from May 30.
But the young and inexperienced Pakistan led by Malik proved no match for Australia, who are on a roll after their win in India earlier this month.
Left-hander Sohail, who reached 1,000 runs in his 27th one-day international when on 40, anchored Pakistan's innings, adding 98 for the third wicket with Umar Akmal who made a 50-ball 48 in his first international match for two years.
Sohail took a single to complete his hundred in the last over, finishing with six boundaries and a six.
Pakistan had handed one-day debuts to opener Shan Masood and Abbas -- who have played 15 and 14 Tests respectively.
Masood put on 35 in an opening stand with Imam-ul-Haq (17) before off-spinner Nathan Lyon dismissed Imam in the seventh over, caught and bowled.
Masood, who hit five boundaries in his 62-ball 40, was then bowled by paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile who finished with 1-38 in his 10 overs.
Umar smashed three sixes in one Jhye Richardson over but fell one short of his half century.
Malik fell for 11 and Ashraf and Imad Wasim scored 28 each.
Wasim hit four boundaries and a six during his 13-ball unbeaten knock, helping Pakistan to 55 runs in the last five overs.
Sunday's second ODI is also being played in Sharjah, with the third in Abu Dhabi (March 27) and the last two in Dubai (March 29 and 31).