10 July 2009
Crusaders players face UK work visa investigation
The UK Border Agency is investigating players from the Super League side Celtic Crusaders are being investigated by the UK Border Agency over possible immigration offences.
The BBC has reported that it understands that work permits used to bring some overseas players to Wales may be insufficient.
In a statement, the Crusaders have said they are co-operating fully with immigration officials.
And a UK Border Agency spokesman said: "While the investigation is under way it would be inappropriate to comment."
Before the start of the current season, eight of the 27 Crusaders players had difficulties obtaining the correct UK work permits.
Captain Jace van Dijk, leading try-scorer Tony Duggan and player of the year Damien Quinn were among the players whose arrival from Australia was delayed.
All overseas players at the club will have their UK work permits and visas inspected, but it is not known how many be under investigation for possible irregularities.
The club's statement added: "There were some issues with visas at the start of the season caused by confusion over the UK Border Agency's new regulations and immigration systems but as far as we are aware they were resolved."
The club said they were doing what they could to help the investigation and bring it to a swift conclusion.
The UK Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in UK visas and immigration services.