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Saturday, March 6, 1999 Published at 08:47 GMT

World: Americas

Soccer star Edmundo jailed

Edmundo's career has been marred by disciplinary problems

Brazilian striker star Edmundo has been jailed for four-and-a-half years after a road crash in which three people died.

Edmundo, 27, who plays in Italy for Fiorentina, was sentenced to an open prison in his absence.

Legal sources said he would be able to work during the day but would have to spend nights in prison.

But it could be years before he serves time. His lawyer plans to appeal against the sentence and the Brazilian government can only apply to extradite the player from Italy once the appeal process is over.

Edmundo - full name Edmundo Alves de Souza - was charged after a crash in December 1995 in a Rio de Janeiro suburb. He was driving a truck and suffered only bruises.

Marred genius

Edmundo, whose brilliance on the pitch has been marred by an explosive temper, left Brazil for Italy in 1997.

His disciplinary problems have damaged his international career. He missed the 1994 World Cup and made only two appearances as substitute at France 98.

Last month he angered his club by returning home for the Rio carnival while Fiorentina prepared for crucial championship games.

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