Grobbelaar flies into passport row

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The Independent Online
Bruce Grobbelaar, the South-ampton goalkeeper charged with match fixing, was besieged by the press when he arrived in Harare yesterday to begin preparations for Zimbabwe's African Nations Cup qualifier against Cameroon on Sunday.

Officials barred reporters from the training session at the national sports stadium and forced photographers off the pitch.

Photographers said they had been manhandled out of the stadium by Zimbabwe Football Association officials when they tried to photograph Grobbelaar and his team-mates.

It had been reported that Grobbelaar held two passports - British and Zimbabwean - and dual nationality is against Zimbabwean law. Leo Mugabe, the head of the ZFA, said the issue of his citizenship was a "total misconception" arising from a British newspaper report which had indicated that, on his arrest, he surrendered two passports to Hampshire police.

However, it was not immediately clear if immigration authorities, who had promised to establish if he was still a Zimbabwean citizen, had concluded their investigation.

Fifa has denied it is calling for the Football Association to ban the three Premiership players charged with match-fixing.

But Keith Cooper, spokesman for the world governing body, has urged the FA to take "urgent measures" as Grobbelaar, Hans Segers and John Fashanu await the start of legal proceedings on 11 October.

Cooper said: "We are urging appropriate measures as the FA see fit. It is not a matter for Fifa."

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