BERLIN – Liverpool-bound Naby Keita has reportedly been hit with a €415 000 fine for allegedly using a forged driving licence.
The Guinea international and RB Leipzig midfielder fell offside with police after twice attempting to gain a German driving permit by using fake Guinean documents.
Germany daily Bild quote the figure of €415 000, due to calculations based on Keita’s daily salary, and Leipzig’s district court would only confirm to SID, an AFP subsidiary, that the fine is a “six-figure sum”.
The 22-year-old, who will join Liverpool for the 2018/19 season, has lodged an appeal against the penalty and should the matter now go to court, the case is likely to be heard next year.
Prosecutors in Leipzig accuse Keita of forgery after he allegedly tried to use fake Guinea driving documents to obtain a German licence last December, then again in January.
Staff at Leipzig’s licensing centre became suspicious and handed the documents to police.
Forgery experts identified the papers as “total counterfeits”, according to Leipzig’s district court.
However, a spokesman for Keita’s club RB Leipzig said that “after detailed discussions with the player, we don’t assume this is a forgery matter”.
He is not the first football star in Germany to be hit recently with a huge fine for a driving-related offence.
Germany winger Marco Reus had to pay a penalty of €540 000 in 2014 when it emerged he had been driving without a valid driving licence.
Keita has also landed himself in hot water on the pitch in recent weeks after being sent off three times in seven games for both club and country.