Former Brazilian international Ronaldinho Gaucho was ordered to remain in jail in Paraguay on Saturday after a judge ruled him a flight risk.
The former-Barcelona forward was arrested on Friday for attempting to enter Paraguay with a false passport two days earlier and spent Friday night in a police cell along with his brother and business manager Roberto Assis.
The pair asked to be released into house arrest but that was rejected by the judge, who also dismissed Assis’s claims to have a heart problem because he showed no proof.
Judge Clara Ruiz Diaz said their alleged offence was a “serious one against the interests of the Paraguayan state”.
Because the pair posed a flight risk they must remain in custody, she added.
Under Paraguayan law, officials now have six months to complete their investigation but Ronaldinho’s lawyers, who called the decision “incredible,” are expected to present an appeal in the coming days.
“Ronaldinho doesn’t understand what’s going on,” Tarek Tuma told reporters.
Saturday’s courtroom drama came after an astonishing four days that began on Wednesday when the duo attempted to enter Paraguay with doctored passports.
They were detained but a prosecutor who believed they were tricked into taking the fake documents recommended they be released after receiving an alternative punishment such as paying a fine to charity.
A judge, though, rejected that idea late on Friday and shortly afterwards the pair were arrested.