Cape Town City has revealed that it was among several clubs who signed 'fake footballer' Bernio Verhagen, who was arrested in Denmark on multiple charges last week.
The 25-year-old signed for City at the start of this season, but was reportedly released in secret shortly afterwards, as it became apparent that he did not have the footballing ability the club was led to believe he had.
Verhagen was arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse and robbery, but could have fraud added to his charge sheet after Danish club Viborg registered a criminal complaint with the authorities.
Similar to the situation at Cape Town City, Viborg signed the winger from Chilean side Audax Italiano, without ever seeing him play and on the advice of a well-known European agent, but quickly realised their mistake at his first training session and removed him from the field of play.
"There is a clear picture of a large scam that is likely to involve more people in several countries," Viborg said in a statement.
City claim that, even though the player was officially signed by the club, they were fortunate enough to realise what was going on before any money had been lost.
"It turned out to be a fake phone call with someone imitating the agent. Unfortunately, we had done the paperwork, but luckily no money had been paid over‚" said Julian Bailey, City Media Officer.
Owner John Comitits told Reuters: "He was never registered or has played for Cape Town City. He was going to, but we discovered that something was not right, so we pulled out of giving him an official contract."