Home Sports Football German prosecutors accuse soccer player of faking name, age

German prosecutors accuse soccer player of faking name, age


HAMBURG, Germany — A professional soccer player from Gambia has been charged with using a false identity to breach German immigration law.

German prosecutors said Monday that Bakery Jatta, a Gambian forward who signed for Hamburg in 2016, is actually named Bakary Daffeh and is two-and-a-half years older than his stated age of 23. He has been charged with four breaches of immigration law and one of providing false documents by proxy.

An attorney for Jatta, Thomas Bliwier, told the dpa news agency that his client “has clearly proven his identity” and that he would apply for the case to be dropped.

Prosecutors said Jatta arrived in Germany in 2015 without a passport and gave a date of birth which denoted he was under 18, and that he was therefore classified as a child refugee subject to additional legal protection. He signed for Hamburg in 2016 following a tryout and won renown as a refugee player competing in the Bundesliga. Jatta has played in all of Hamburg’s second-division games this season.

Prosecutors said Jatta previously played for “various African clubs” under the name Daffeh, and that after arriving in Germany he obtained Gambian documents in the name of Jatta.

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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