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Pichot's passport hopes delayed
London
February 8, 2000

Bristol's Argentinean World Cup star scrum-half Agustin Pichot has had his hopes of being classed as a 'non-overseas' player delayed on Tuesday by the situation surrounding fellow countryman and Derby footballer Esteban Fuertes.
Pichot applied for an Italian passport three months ago - his grandfather is Italian - to help ease Bristol's selection problems because of overseas players restrictions.
British rugby teams are limited to two overseas players per team but a European passport holder is classed as a non-overseas player.
Argentinean soccer player Fuertes, Derby's 2.3 million pound (3.7 million dollar) star, was refused re-entry to Britain because he was carrying a forged Italian passport.
Pichot's application has now been delayed by immigration officials who are sceptical of the request following the scandal involving Fuertes.
Talking about the Fuertes saga, Bristol chief executive Nick de Scossa said: "This football player got hold of an Italian passport, went away on holiday in Europe and when he tried to come back in to Britain, the immigration said it was a forgery.
"That's basically messed up the system. The Italians are now wondering how he got his hands on it and so they have got to go through the process of making sure they are seen to be doing something about it."

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