The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) disciplinary committee has ordered that the Federacao Futebol Timor-Leste (FFTL) be excluded from the AFC Asian Cup 2023 and fined US$20,000.
The committee held its meeting yesterday with the FFTL and its general gecretary, Amandio de Araujo Sarmento (Amandio). Gelasio De Silva Carvalho (Gelasio), an official of the FFTL, was found to bring the game into disrepute.
On June 9, 2016, the AFC opened an investigation (in conjunction with FIFA) into the eligibility of certain players to play for the representative team of the FFTL following the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 (qualifiers playoff round) matches on June 2 and June 6, 2016.
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The investigation identified 12 Brazilian-born footballers that were registered in the AFC administration system with falsified Timorese birth or baptismal certificates.
These documents were submitted to the AFC to demonstrate that the footballers were eligible to participate for FFTL representative teams through one or both of their parents being born in Timor-Leste. Such particulars were found to have been falsified.
The investigation made no findings regarding the validity of the Timor-Leste citizenship held by those footballers. That is a question for the state authorities of Timor-Leste.
Nine of the footballers participated in a total of twenty-nine matches falling under the jurisdiction of the AFC, and seven matches falling under the jurisdiction of FIFA.
The committee then ordered that Amandio be banned from football-related activity for a period of three years and fined US$9,000, and Gelasio to pay a fine of US$3,000 after it found that he brought the game into disrepute by attempting to interfere with a witness.
The committee subsequently ordered, with respect to the 29 matches where ineligible players were fielded, that the FFTL forfeit those matches and be fined US$56,000, with the fine being suspended for a probationary period of two years.
The AFC will request FIFA to extend the decision against Amandio to have worldwide effect and notify that the FFTL fielded ineligible players in seven FIFA matches.