Player for Peru accused of being Ecuadorean
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - A player in the South American under-20 championship is being investigated for falsifying his identity and playing for the wrong country — and being far over the age limit for the event.
The Ecuadorean Football Association told The Associated Press that the Peru player identified as Max Barrios is actually a 25-year-old Ecuadorean named Juan Espinosa.
"The latest information we have is that Barrios is returning to Lima (Peru) to explain his situation to the Peruvian Football Federation," Nestor Benitez, a spokesman for CONMEBOL, the governing body of South American football, said Wednesday.
Ecuadorean officials said Barrios was born in 1987 in Machala, Ecuador.
Benitez said the case would be handled by CONMEBOL's disciplinary court, but he did not suggest the results of the games in which Barrios played would be annulled.
The tournament in Argentina ends Feb. 3 with four teams advancing to the Under-20 World Cup later this year in Turkey. South American powers Brazil and Argentina have been eliminated. Peru and Ecuador are still in contention.