Keita accused of using forged driving licences
Liverpool-bound midfielder Naby Keita could face a six-figure fine after allegedly twice using forged licences to try to obtain a German driving permit, a report claimed on Saturday.
The RB Leipzig defensive midfielder and Guinea international, who is joining Liverpool for 2018/19, is accused of two counts of forgery which carries a minimum penalty of 100,000 euros ($115,195), according to Bild.
The daily newspaper claims Keita, 22, is also under investigation for driving in Germany without a valid licence.
German prosecutors accuse Keita of using forged Guinean licences at the licensing centre in Leipzig in December 2016, then again six weeks later in January, in order to get a permit.
The drivers licences from the West African nation were apparently so badly forged that employees in Leipzig became suspicious and handed them to police.
“Both documents were identified as complete forgeries,” a court official told Bild.
“It’s a six-figure penalty,” confirmed the official when asked how much a potential fine would be.
By comparison, Germany winger Marco Reus was fined 540,000 euros in December 2014 when it emerged he had driven for years without a valid licence.
Leipzig, who started this weekend third in Germany’s top flight, say they are aware of Keita’s legal problems.
“We know abaout this. After detailed discussions we’re not assuming this is a forgery matter,” said Leipzig’s press officer Florian Scholz.
“Naby’s lawyer is involved and is waiting for access to the records.”
Before Saturday’s German league match against fourth-placed Hanover 96, Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl was tight-lipped.
“I only heard about this yesterday and I have not discussed the issue with Keita,” said the Leipzig boss.
Keita has also landed himself in hot water on the pitch in recent weeks after being sent off three times in seven games for both club and country.