Two former Chelsea players Michael Essien and Carlton Cole could face a jail sentence in Indonesia after being accused of breaking immigration laws.
Their future in the country is now under threat as it emerges Persib Bandung fielded the players without obtaining the correct 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.”
Under Indonesian law, flouting migrant law carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail, Goal report.
Persib manager Umuh Muctar criticised the ruling, affirming that Indonesia should be proud of having players of Essien’s calibre in the local league.
“That they are here is a joy for us, they want to raise up Indonesia’s name in the world,” he told reporters.
“Everybody knows that Essien is a world-class player, not an illegal immigrant.”