Holy Mount Zion of England's all-Jewish Maccabi Southern Football League has been suspended for league play after allegations were made that the team was using non-Jewish players.
According to England's The Jewish Chronicle, the team has been under suspicion for using non-Jewish players after complaints had been made to the league by opposing teams. Holy Mount Zion had been asked to provide proof that [the ten suspected players] 'were of the Jewish faith'. The deadline passed and the players were suspended.
According to Nigel Burns, a league official who went to officiate the team's next match, the suspicions were confirmed when members of Holy Mount Zion began calling each other by non-Jewish names, names like Mariusz and Javier, names that did not appear on the team sheet.
After the match, Burns confronted the players and asked two of the players why they appeared as Danny Potter and Simon Loeb on the team sheet, but were not addressed as so in person? The players responded that those were nicknames.
A photographer for The Jewish Chronicle took the players's pictures and cross-referenced them against other sources. The players were later identified on Facebook as Mariusz Mielniczuk, a Polish-born personal trainer, and Javier Guevara, a banker who had previously studied and worked in Bogota.
When confronted by the league, club manager Rob Lerner admitted to participating in the rouse and using players whose registrations were not thoroughly validated, saying I didn't have much choice. I had to, it is the only way I could get a team out, according to The Jewish Chronicle's sports editor Danny Caro.
Four of the ten players have been cleared so far, but as for the remaining six, the outlook is grim. The Jewish Chronicle says, apart from Mr Mielniczuk, who we were told was in Cuba on holiday, only one spoke to us: Luigi Minale, a 28-year-old university researcher from Milan. He said he was Jewish, but would not comment further. The others include Jaime Augusto, Millan Quijano, a colleague of Mr Minale at University College London. Mr Quijano grew up in Bogota, Colombia, and moved to London in 2007. Others were midfielder Guri Singer and Andrés Tamayo.
The team's games have been suspended indefinitely until the remaining six players's registrations have been verified.
However, opponents of Holy Mount Zion aren't waiting for such a time. Simon Beresford of Faithfold C called the rouse disgusting and Robert Silverman, manager of Team JLGB said, If they have fielded unregistered players on a number of occasions, they should be expelled.
Lerner maintains that he has never willfully played a non-Jewish player.