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banner Tuesday, 8 May, 2001, 06:50 GMT 07:50 UK
Lazio hit with passport charges

Veron (l) and Cragnotti's trial begins on 11 October
Lazio's Argentine midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron and team owner Sergio Cragnotti are facing charges of allegedly using fake documents to obtain an Italian passport.

Veron was granted Italian citizenship in 1999 on the basis of a great-great-grandfather who was born in southern Italy and emigrated to Argentina a century ago.

The trial will start on 11 October.

"Cragnotti, Veron and another seven people have been called to trial for falsifying documentation," a judicial source told Reuters news agency on Monday.

Until last week, Italian soccer clubs were restricted to fielding a maximum of three non-EU players at a time.

On Friday, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) scrapped the rule, saying it was "illegal".

Veron's is one of several cases of alleged false paperwork being investigated in Italy.

The FIGC has also charged AS Roma and two of the club's former players - Brazilian Fabio Junior and Argentine Gustavo Bartelt - with allegedly using false documents to circumvent league limits on foreign players.

Former AS Roma player Fabio Junior
Fabio Junior accused of using "irregular" Portuguese passport

In a statement, the federation accused Fabio Junior of using an "irregular" Portuguese passport so he could be registered as a EU player.

Fabio Junior left the Italian league leaders last summer and currently plays for the Brazilian team Palmeiras.

Bartelt, who is on loan from Roma to Spanish club Rayo Vallecano, is accused of obtaining an Italian passport by submitting false documents showing he had Italian ancestors.

Lazio, Udinese, Inter Milan, Vicenza, AC Milan and Sampdoria are all involved in investigations concerning false passport documents.

Similar cases have also emerged elsewhere, notably in France, where former European Cup finalists St Etienne were recently docked seven points for fielding players with illegal documents.

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02 May 01 |  Europe
Real Madrid target Veron
19 Apr 01 |  Football
St Etienne duo under investigation
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