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Thursday, 24 September 2020

Cyprus police arrest two in Nigerian goalie probe

AFP , Tuesday 12 Feb 2019
Argentina's Lionel Messi (R) walks past Nigeria's goalkeeper Francis Uzoho during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Nigeria and Argentina in Saint Petersburg on June 26, 2018 AFP
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Cypriot police on Tuesday arrested two people in connection with a health card issued to Nigeria’s World Cup goalkeeper Francis Uzoho loaned to a local club from Spain's Deportivo La Coruna.

The two, a man and a woman, were arrested on suspicion of obstructing the course of justice and conspiracy to commit a crime, police said.

Nigeria international Uzoho, 20, has found himself caught up in the probe over the alleged falsification of a medical certificate needed to play for Cypriot club Anorthosis Famagusta.

The health certificate was allegedly issued while the player was on board a flight to Cyprus.

The case unravelled just 24 hours after Uzoho played a leading role in a 1-0 victory over title contenders Apollon Limassol on February 2.

Defeated Apollon filed a protest citing irregularities in the mandatory health certificate.

Following testimony from the player, Anorthosis acting president Kyriakos Yiangou, a cardiologist, was detained Saturday. He was released from police custody on Tuesday without charge.

Anorthosis, fifth in the Cypriot first division, could be docked nine points over the case, while Uzoho cannot play until he is issued a new health card.

Uzoho, who played a key role for the Super Eagles at the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia, joined Anorthosis on loan from Deportivo on transfer deadline day.

Nigeria’s first-choice keeper moved to Cyprus after an injury-hit campaign and lack of regular football in Spain ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt that kicks off in June.

In October 2017, Uzoho became the youngest foreign goalkeeper to ever play in La Liga and marked his debut with a clean sheet.

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