Super Eagles first-choice goalkeeper Francis Uzoho has been caught in a ‘health certificate mess in Cyprus where he just moved to join Anorthosis Famagusta.

Uzoho joined Cypriot club Anorthosis Famagusta on deadline day of the January transfer window and made his debut less than 24 hours later, keeping a clean sheet in their 1-0 home win over Apollon Limassol on Saturday, February 2. 

His short stay in Cyprus, however, turned sour after the game as Apollon Limassol filed a protest citing irregularities in the health certificate issued to the Nigerian goalkeeper by the Cyprus Sports Organisation (KOA). 

Francis Uzoho made his debut for Famagusta a day after arriving Cyprus (Twitter/Francis Uzoho)
Francis Uzoho made his debut for Famagusta a day after arriving Cyprus (Twitter/Francis Uzoho)
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The validity of the certificate was in doubt as Limassol questioned how Famagusta were able to secure the certificate just in time for the goalkeeper to make his debut. 

The aggrieved club in a statement claimed that Uzoho arrived in Cyprus at 1605 on Friday 1 February and that the KOA department had already shut at 14.30 that same day.

Francis Uzoho went on to make his debut on Saturday. 

Fines and point deduction

Francis Uzoho has been fined and suspended for one game [Anorthosis Famagusta]
Francis Uzoho has been fined and suspended for one game [Anorthosis Famagusta]

The Cyprus Football Association (CFA) responded by overturning the 1-0 result in favour of Limassol and imposed an additional six-point deduction against Famagusta for breaking the rules. 

Famagusta are planning to appeal the six-point deduction. 

For his own role in the mess, the 20-year-old goalkeeper who has sat out two games since Limassol’s appeal has been given a one-match ban and also fined $1,130. 

Famagusta have dropped into the bottom half of the 12-league Cypriot First Division. 

The controversy has been an unwanted distraction for Francis Uzoho who had joined Famagusta on a six-month loan from Deportivo La Coruna in a bid to play regular football. 

He had spent the first half of the season at Spanish division two side Elche where he managed 11 appearances in all competition before he got injured.