Civelli: My passport is not an issue

IPSWICH Town's debut-making Argentinean Luciano Civelli has confirmed that he has no need for a work permit to play in England.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town's debut-making Argentinean Luciano Civelli has confirmed that he has no need for a work permit to play in England.

His brother Renato is reported to be among those being investigated by French authorities over the legitimacy of their European passports and their duel nationality.

Renato Civelli rarely plays but he is on the books of Marseille and like his younger brother qualifies to play in the EU without obtaining a work permit due to his Italian heritage.

Luciano Civelli, who gave a good impression in the 1-1 draw against Blackpool at Portman Road on Saturday, is adamant he is able to play in this country without a work permit because two great grandparents were Italian .

He said: “The grandfather and grandmother of my mother were Italian.”

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And on hearing of reports about the French investigation into Renato Civelli's eligibility to play in Europe and Ipswich Town spokesman said: “The Football Association has checked Luciano's paperwork and cleared the player. Included in that was a look at his passport.”

While Ipswich will wait to see if any doubts over their new �1million signing are unearthed in France, the left-sided 22-year-old reflected on his Blues debut.

He said: “I thought I did quite well, but the important thing was that we won. We didn't so that is hard for the team.

“I hope that we can play better on Wednesday against Nottingham Forest and win that game because it is very important.

“The pace of the game was quicker than what I am used to. All the time it is quick here but in the next match I will be better, more used to the pace.

“My fitness is quite good. I was pleased I lasted 70 minutes, but was a little tired by then. In my next match I hope I will be better with the ball, when I am fitter. I should be 100 per cent fit in one or two more games.

“The fans were magnificent for me. I have to say thank you. They gave me a great reception and it gave me a great lift.

“I had a chance and should have scored, that would have been fantastic. The goalkeeper was out of position but there were so many opponents in the box and it was hard to get my shot past them. Perhaps I could have done better.”

It was recently discovered that Monaco's Leandro Curfe was playing under a fake passport, and this has led the French authorities to launched investigations into four other Argentinian players: Renato Civelli, Bordeaux's Fernando Cavenaghi and Diego Placente, and Toulouse's Mauro Cetto.

A French League source is reported to have said: “The French League has contacted the Italian consulate in Paris and asked them to bring the matter to the Italian authorities.

"There are suspicions of false passports in Ligue 1. For us, the passports are valid, they were validated by the league, but anticipating possible protests at the end of the season, we contacted the Italian authorities."

Toulouse have denied any problem with Cetto's dual nationality saying: “His grandparents, on his mother's and father's side, are Italian and the player, according to Italian laws, benefits from the Italian nationality.”

There is no suggestion of criminal activity on the players' part. Cufre is believed to have acted in good faith when acquiring his passport.