Persib Bandung’s newly-signed duo Michael Essien and Carlton Cole could face a jail sentence in Indonesia for breaking the country’s immigration law.
According to reports from local newspapers, the country’s Professional Sports Agency investigated their transfer and found that the two marquee players did not have the required 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, as quoted by Goal Singapore.
“They are professionals so they must hold a permit to perform activities in Indonesia,” the chief added.
Flouting immigration laws in Indonesia could carry a maximum penalty of five years in jail.
Persib Bandung manager Umuh Muctar said the two ex-Premier League footballers were persecuted unfairly, saying Essien is “a world-class player and not an illegal immigrant”.