Championship football club Queens Park Rangers’ sponsor licence to apply for UK visas for players from outside the European Union has been suspended after a Home Office probe showed one of its overseas players did not have a work permit last season.
Brazilian midfielder Sandro played for the London side without the right paperwork. He is currently on holiday in Brazil but QPR said he had not been deported.
QPR said the club was informed last month about problems with the player’s residency visa and said the authorities had advised them not to select him for the Premiership clash with Manchester City. He did not play in the club’s final two matches of the season before they were relegated.
Sandro, who played in the Brazilian London 2012 silver medal-winning Olympic side, signed for QPR in September last year. He previously played for Premiership side Spurs, which he joined from Internacional.
Reports said it was understood the visa issue resulted from an oversight and there were no problems with Sandro’s work permit while he was with Spurs. He will not be allowed to play for QPR until the situation is resolved.
QPR must now send written submissions to the Home Office after its sponsors licence was revoked, and the Home Office will have 20 days to consider these. The club can still sign non-EU players in the meantime, but they cannot play for the club until the suspension is removed.
The club said in a statement: “The club is in dialogue with the Home Office in a bid to resolve the matter."
A Home Office statement said it continually monitored all registered sponsors and took action when it found issues of non-compliance.