FEARS: Michael Essien, left, with team mate Carlton Cole
FORMER CHELSEA football players Michael Essien and Carlton Cole are facing the prospect of doing five years in an Indonesian prison and fines after inadvertently breaking immigration laws which prevent foreign nationals from working in the country without the relevant documentation.
The two players made the move to Indonesian football club Persib Bandung earlier this year.
The club have admitted that they failed to make the submission deadline on behalf of Essien and Cole, who have been left without the right to work in the Asian country. However, Persib Bandung officials maintain that they were given permission for Essien and Cole to play whilst the necessary administrative functions were performed.
Persib Bandung manager Umuh Muchtar commented:
“That they are here is a joy for us, they want to raise up Indonesia’s name in the world.
“Everybody knows that Essien is a world-class player, not an illegal immigrant.”
A spokesperson for the immigration authorities told British reporters:
“They are professionals so they must hold a permit to perform activities in Indonesia."
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