Michael Essien and his teammate Carlton Cole have escaped jail sentences following issues regarding their debut game for Indonesian club Persib Bandung.
The two players who were subject to a series of checks at the Immigration office of Indonesia after playing in the top flight league without a permit have been cleared of all jail charges.
The duo’s capture by Persib Bandung last month made the headlines and it appears to have given a facelift to the Indonesian league as it gained much global publicity
Essien and Cole, however, went viral on Tuesday for breaching immigration rules and were subsequently banned from playing until their work permits are ready.
Flouting immigration and work permit laws in Indonesia is considered a serious breach that could earn perpetrators hefty fines up to 500 millions Indonesian Rupiahs (about $38,000) and a prison sentence of up to five years.
But the former Chelsea players following an invitation to the immigration office have been allowed to stay in the country and wait for their work permits to be ready.
“Yes, Essien and Cole came this morning with the management Persib Bandung,” said Kasi Wasdakim, Class Immigration Office Bandung Agustianur via mobile phone.
“Essien and Cole underwent a series of checks in the office of the Immigration Class I Washikum Bandung on the 3rd floor.”
“The examination was closed. Seen several times the officers went in and out of the room.
“They will not be going to jail and an agreement has been reached to have them wait.”
“More information about this investigation will be announced soon to the media,” he said.