German Prosecutor Accuses Soccer Player Of False Identity

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) – A professional footballer from the Gambia has been accused of using a false identity to circumvent Germany’s immigration laws.

German prosecutors reported Monday that Bakery Jatta, a forward who signed with Hamburg in 2016, is actually named Bakary Daffeh and is two and a half years older than the age of 23 he testified. He was indicted for four violations of immigration law and for presenting false documents through an attorney.

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Jatta’s attorney, Thomas Bliwier, told the dpa news agency that his client “has fully confirmed his identity” and will ask that the case be dismissed.

According to the prosecution, Jatta arrived in Germany in 2015 without a passport and presented a date of birth that indicated that she was under 18 years of age, and therefore fell under the category of child refugee and that she should receive extra legal protection. He signed with Hamburg in 2016 after a test, making himself known as a refugee player in the Bundesliga. Jatta has played every Hamburg game in the second division this season.

The prosecution mentioned that Jatta previously played for “various African clubs” with the last name Daffeh, and that upon his arrival in Germany he obtained documentation from the Gambia with Jatta’s identification.

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