Hamburg’s Gambian refugee midfielder accused of false age and identity

August 9 – A Gambian-born midfielder is reported to be playing in Germany with a falsified name and age.

Hamburg SV’s Bakery Jatta is currently being investigated by the German authorities having apparently arrived in the country as a refugee in 2015 before going on to obtain false documents about his age and name to enable him to remain there under a law that aids young immigrants.

When he got to Germany, Jatta apparently had no professional experience but passport details are now being scrutinised following reports he may be two years older than initially stated, may have changed his name and also may have played for professional teams in Africa. There are suggestions that he featured for local teams in Gambia, Nigeria and Senegal before moving to Europe.

Jatta’s case emerged after Nuremberg appealed Monday’s 4-0 defeat to Hamburg following reports on the player’s personal details. But second division Hamburg have stood by the player, saying he has had a valid passport and a player licence for three years.

“We expect from the league and the football association a clear and swift positioning. At the end of the day our player has had a valid passport for three years as well as licence,” Hamburg sports director Jonas Boldt said in a club statement.

“It is unacceptable to us that his right to play is questioned by such assumptions. We are fully behind Bakery and will continue to fully plan with him for training and matches as he is a completely integrated colleague and valuable player.”

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