- Michael Essien signed with a new club in Indonesia less than a month ago
- He was picked up by the Indonesian Sports Agency for not having valid work permit
- Together with Carlton Cole, Essien has been banned from playing until he get a permit
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Just months after signing with Indonesian football club Persib Bandung, former Chelsea star Michael Essien has been banned from playing in the Indonesian league until he obtains a work permit.
Together with another teammate, Carlton Cole, Essien was summoned before the Indonesian Professional Sports Agency after it was discovered that the two players made their debut at Persib Bandung without a work permit.
They were subsequently banned from playing any further matches until obtaining a work permit and the management of Persib were cautioned about their reckless actions.
Speaking with the media, Maulia Purnamawati the immigration Chief of the city of Bandung where the club is based said, “today we gave a strong warning to Persib in the form of a letter saying that as long as Persib had not completed the permits, which should be issued by the manpower ministry, we are banning Essien and Cole from playing".
Joko Driyono, the secretary-general of the country's football association, said they would help the club in obtaining the documents admitting that they gave the approval for them to be fielded in the first place because the process to get the permits was "not easy nor fast".
Essien and Cole could have faced much stiffer sanctions as the punishment for flouting Indonesian immigrations laws can be harsh with fines of up to £30,000 and 5 years of imprisonment.