Mexicans see double as Sven lookalike fools football club

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The Independent US

An English Sven-Goran Eriksson lookalike duped one of Mexico's top football clubs into giving him red-carpet treatment, claiming he wanted to check out the squad before making his first selection for the Mexican national side.

Derek Williams, flanked by two glamour girls, was given a tour of Universidad Nacional's stadium before issuing a statement to journalists and posing for photographs. The 56-year-old actor, of Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, advertises himself on his website as a "Svenalike". He arranged his visit on Wednesday by sending the first division club fake documents purporting to be from the Mexican football federation. The real Eriksson was named as the new Mexico coach in June after being sacked by Manchester City.

Mexican officials have since warned all clubs to be on their guard should the imposter strike again. "The real Eriksson is in the US at the moment and the character who has been claiming to be him is just a ringer," the federation said in a statement, adding that Mr Williams had shown a "total lack of respect".

No one appeared to noticed that the visitor was not the real Eriksson until after he had left, the Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported.

The Universidad Nacional manager Ricardo Ferretti, who chatted to Mr Williams and showed him around the ground, said: "To be honest, I was quite amused. The fake Eriksson told me he was watching my players ahead of his next call-ups, and I believed him."

Mr Williams, who has performed regular engagements as the Swede, found himself in demand in 2004 when the then England manager's fling with an English Football Association secretary, Faria Alam, was exposed.