Former English Premier League duo Michael Essien and Carlton Cole are facing the possibility of jail time and much more in Indonesia.
The duo recently signed for Indonesian side Persip Badung, but the club had failed to properly process their immigration paperwork.
“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 further asserted: “They are professionals so they must hold a permit to perform activities in Indonesia.”
The players are two of the biggest names in the league, and the club’s manager has criticized the ruling.
“That they are here is a joy for us, they want to raise up Indonesia’s name in the world,” manager Umuh Muchtar told reporters. “That they are here is a joy for us, they want to raise up Indonesia’s name in the world,” he told reporters.
The duo made their debuts over the weekend in a 0-0 draw with Arema. They however will be unable to play until the whole situation is resolved.
The official punishments for such violations include jail time and possibly deportation, but the players’ reputation may enable a more palliative agreement be reached.