Nigerian footballer Subair Muritala Ali was detained at Mumbai airport on Tuesday for travelling on a forged visa.
Ali, who played a key role in Peerless FC’s campaign in the IFA Premier League and in the I-League second division for Mohammedan Sporting, was on his way to Indonesia. Police Inspector D.B. Joshi, of Sahar Airport police, said: “We are in the process of deporting him.”
Ali’s arrest comes on the heels of Mohun Bagan’s Brazilian star Jose Baretto’s detention at Kolkata airport on March 20 for violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act. Around 300 foreigners play in football leagues in India. Most of them are Africans.
Most are signed through unofficial agents or through former foreign recruits. Ali came to India from Nepal and signed for Peerless last season.
Peerless secretary Ashok Dasgupta said: “He was playing for a club in Kathmandu. An agent called Albert helped him get to Kolkata. We had no idea he was travelling on forged documents.”
When Hindustan Times tried to get in touch with Ali, a man his identifying himself as ‘Anthony’ answered the call. “Muritala left for Nigeria two days ago,” he said.
(Inputs from Presley Thomas)