Absa Premiership side Cape Town City signed a Dutch winger named Bernio Verhagen in August, and it has emerged the 25-year-old is a scam.
Question marks started to come out after a month passed without seeing Verhagen in any matchday squads. Three months later, the club have confirmed what they had was a fraudster.
“Bernio Verhagen‚ supposedly a promising 25-year-old right wing from the Netherlands who had trained at several top clubs‚ was signed by the Premier Soccer League club in August but quickly turned out to be useless and the club let him quietly leave to avoid embarrassment,” wrote TimesLIVE today.
The story further revealed that the so-called player was arrested in Denmark last week for robbery. The scammer has also duped several other clubs in Eastern Europe & Chile until he was found-out in Denmark this week.
City confirmed that the conman had sealed a deal with the Cape-club through a ‘reliable international agent.’
“But it turned out to be a fake phone call with someone imitating the agent. Unfortunately we had done the paperwork but luckily no money had been paid over‚” said City’s media officer Julian Bailey.
“Verhagen trained for just two days with the first team squad before it was obvious he was not up to standard and sent to play with the reserves."
"Verhagen’s arrival was trumpeted by the club on social media‚ although those posts have since been removed. He quietly slipped away after just six weeks‚ going off to Chile,” added TimesLIVE.
“Verhagen was unmasked this week when the Danish club Viborg cancelled his contract after just a week.”
“He has since been arrested for an alleged hold up outside the train station in the Danish town after a charge of fraud had been laid against him by the club.”
“Comitis' signing of players without consulting his coach Benni McCarthy was one of the major causes of the fallout between owner and coach over the last month before the mentor's departure and will be a source of much embarrassment now that the true story behind Verhagen has come to light.”
“Verhagen was presumably free to go after the complaint against him was lodged with the police on Sunday because he was arrested then after an alleged robbery on Tuesday,” concluded TimesLIVE’s Mark Gleeson.