A Cypriot first division side is appealing a nine points deduction for an off-field own goal involving newly-signed star Nigerian keeper Francis Uzoho.
The Cyprus Football Association on Monday turned a 1-0 victory for Anorthosis Famagusta over Apollon Limaasol into a 3-0 defeat because Uzoho had an invalid medical certificate.
Anorthosis were also hit with a six-point deduction, adding up to a nine-point overall penalty.
Uzoho, 20, played for Nigeria at last year’s World Cup and in October 2017 became the youngest foreign goalkeeper to play in Spain’s La Liga when he made his debut for Deportivo La Coruna at the age of just 18.
Anorthosis’ club doctor Kyriacos Yiangou was one of three people arrested and released by police over the health card held by Uzoho, who was signed on loan from Deportivo in this winter’s transfer window.
The certificate was allegedly issued while the player was still on board a flight to Cyprus, a day ahead of the February 2 fixture against Apollon.
Apollon complained Uzoho only arrived on the Mediterranean island shortly before 4.00 pm (1400 GMT) local time on Friday February 1, yet the national sports office that issues medical certificates closed at 2.30 pm.
Uzoho received a one-match ban and was fined 1,000 euros (1,130 dollars).
The points deductions are due to come into effect eight days after Monday’s ruling which sees Apollon leapfrog arch-rivals APOEL Nicosia to top Cyprus’ league table, ahead of the two sides’ crunch game on Sunday.