Martes, 19 Febrero, 2019

Indonesia bans Essien, Cole

Michael Essien Caught without a work permit in Indonesia Former Chelsea striker Carlton Cole
Tobias Pedroso | 24 Abril, 2017, 08:29

Former Chelsea men Michael Essien and Carlton Cole could face a jail sentence in Indonesia after being accused of breaking immigration laws.

However, the players and their club may soon be involved in a legal tussle after the government-backed Professional Sports Agency found the players did not have the required work permits to play in the country.

Immigration authorities summoned the club management on Monday.

"As of Tuesday, April 18 2017, Persib Bandung have not applied for a permanent residency permit, the visitor's permit is for a limited time", immigration chief Maulia Purnamawati explained in a statement.

A spokesman said: "They (the players) are professionals so they must hold a permit to perform activities in Indonesia".

Persib's next game is on Saturday, away at PS TNI with the two stars now in a battle to be allowed to play.

Driyono told AFP the association had granted permission for Persib to field Essien and Cole over the weekend because the process to get the permits was "not easy nor fast".

"That they are here is a joy for us, they want to raise up Indonesia's name in the world".

He added: "Everybody knows that Essien is a world-class player, not an illegal immigrant".

Essien, who is Ghanaian, has played for Chelsea, AC Milan and Real Madrid.

Cole, 33, played seven times for England and was a striker for Chelsea and West Ham.

Liga 1 replaces an old top-level league, which was halted in 2015 due to a row between the government and Indonesian FA that triggered turmoil and led to the country being hit with a one-year ban by Federation Internationale de Football Association.

Cole, 34, signed a one year contract with the club, which is spending big in an attempt to become a major force on Asian football.