Al Nasr appeal AFC’s decision to forfeit Champions League quarter-final over Wanderley’s ‘false’ passport

Al Nasr were ordered to forfeit their Asian Champions League quarter-final first leg 3-0 on Monday after Wanderley was found to be playing under a false Indonesian passport.
Wanderley made his Al Nasr debut in the Asian Champions League quarter-final first leg against El Jaish and scored twice in a 3-0 victory. Karim Jaafar / AFP
Wanderley made his Al Nasr debut in the Asian Champions League quarter-final first leg against El Jaish and scored twice in a 3-0 victory. Karim Jaafar / AFP

DUBAI // Al Nasr have confirmed they will appeal the Asian Football Confederation’s decision to overturn the club’s Asian Champions League quarter-final first-leg victory against El Jaish.

Nasr were ordered on Monday to forfeit last month’s 3-0 win in Doha after the continental governing body ruled that Brazilian-born striker Wanderley was playing under what it believed to be a false Indonesian passport. Nasr were also fined $1,000 (Dh3,673).

Wanderley, signed this summer from Arabian Gulf League rivals Sharjah, made his debut in the match against Qatari side El Jaish on August 24 and scored two goals as Nasr took a major step towards a first Champions League semi-final.

However, given he was found to have been ineligible for the match, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has reversed the result and awarded El Jaish a 3-0 victory.

See also:

• Al Ain: ‘Great strength and focus’ needed to reach semi-final

Wanderley, 27, was earlier this month provisionally suspended for 60 days while the AFC investigated the case and is not available for Wednesday’s second leg at Dubai’s Al Maktoum Stadium.

Reacting to the AFC’s announcement, Nasr tweeted that they will contest the decision. They also criticised the governing body for the timing of the announcement.

The club tweeted that they “deplored the AFC’s decision” to award El Jaish a 3-0 win, and that they are “formally challenging this surprising decision”.

One tweet read that “Nasr is the real winner of this match,” while another said Nasr “demands neutrality” from the AFC “in examining the merits of the case and not rushing into making decisions”.​

Nasr have always maintained they have not done anything wrong.

Last week they confirmed that they would stand behind Wanderley after they had “scrutinised” all of the appropriate paperwork. If the appeal to the AFC is not successful, Nasr are expected to take their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

The forward joined the club in July following Nasr’s protracted pursuit that resulted in him signing a three-year contract.

Born in Campinas in Sao Paulo State, Wanderley moved to Qatar’s Al Arabi in 2011 before transferring to Sharjah three years later. In two seasons there, Wanderley scored 32 goals in 51 Arabian Gulf League matches.

In accordance to Champions League regulations, teams are allowed to field three foreigners in the competition plus one more if the player has Asian nationality, of which Wanderley claimed to have based on an Indonesian passport. The AFC said investigations were continuing into who was responsible for the “forgery or falsification” of Wanderley’s passport.

“The Asian Football Confederation disciplinary committee has ordered the AFC Champions League quarter-final first-leg match El Jaish vs Al Nasr ... forfeited,” an AFC statement said.

“The committee held, on the basis of information received from various state authorities and after analysing the case file, that the Indonesian passport submitted to register Wanderley was false.”

On September 2, the AFC said it had sought explanations regarding the nationalities of three players who have participated in this year’s Champions League, although it did not name the other two. Both are believed to have been born in Brazil, though.

The AFC said initially that it would also conduct an investigation into the misappropriation of “certain passports” that had been used in its national team competitions.

​jmcauley@thenational.ae

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Published: September 12, 2016 04:00 AM

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