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Peru U-20 soccer player is not Peruvian or under 20, says congressman
Max Barrios (Photo: Peru.com)
By Manuel Vigo
January 22, 2013
Ecuadorian Legislator Rolando Panchana has accused a member of the U-20 Peruvian soccer team of playing under a fake identity, Peru.com reported.
According to Panchana, Max Barrios is really 25-year-old Juan Carlos Espinoza Mercado, an Ecuadorian-born citizen who played in the country’s Liga de Loja soccer club.
The Peruvian side is currently in the second stage of the South American U-20 Championship in Argentina.
Barrios, who plays in Peru’s defense, is listed as having been born in September 1995.
"We have seen that there is a physical similarity between Juan Carlos Espinoza and Max Barrios,” Panchana was quoted as saying.
“This is likely cheating within the sport, and probably a crime, and as a legislator, I could not remain silent,” he added.
According to Panchana, Barrios was first recognized during a match between Peru and Ecuador, after Ecuadorian player Jonny Uchuari recognized his former Liga de Loja teammate.
According to Peru21, Espinoza Mercado’s Ecuadorian ID says he was born in 1987.
Barrios’ father, Angel Barrios, arrived in Peru on Wednesday morning.
“I’ve come to clarify my son’s situation,” he said, without going into details about his son’s age.
Meanwhile, Barrios is expected to arrive in Lima on Wednesday afternoon, where he will meet with Peruvian soccer officials, and discuss the allegations.
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