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By ESPN Staff

Brazilian player investigated for age fraud

RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Former Brazilian World Youth Cup winner Carlos Alberto is being investigated over allegations of age fraud, his club Figueirense said Tuesday.

Figueirense director Joao Batista Babi said the midfielder had been dropped while the investigations were carried out.

The decision followed a report in the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper on Tuesday which alleged that the player, full name Carlos Alberto de Oliveira Junior, was born exactly five years before his declared date of birth of Jan. 24, 1983.

'We heard about this last night. We've suspended him temporarily until all the investigations have been done,' Babi told reporters.

'We will also inform the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) so that he is investigated externally. We have to remember that he was not raised at the club.'

Carlos Alberto, who joined Figueirense in 2003, has been their outstanding player in the Brazilian championship this season and has been linked with a move to Sao Paulo.

Figueirense are ninth in the Brazilian championship with 49 points.

Carlos Alberto, who did not train on Tuesday, started five of Brazil's seven games at the 2003 World Youth Cup in United Arab Emirates, although he missed the final against Spain.

Brazil has had several cases of age fraud in the past, usually involving players attempting to jump down an age group at the start of their careers.

The most famous involved former Brazil and Real Madrid coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo who spent most of his career, including two years in charge of Brazil, with a birth certificate giving his first name as Wanderley and his date of birth as May 10, 1955.

Luxemburgo, whose real date of birth is May 10, 1952, later said the certificate was fake and that his late father had obtained it for him when he was a teenager.

In October 2001, a court agreed to cancel the fake certificate and Luxemburgo turned three years older at the stroke of a pen.