Former Hearts of Oak midfielder Winful Cobbinah has been sentenced to four months in prison in Albania after being found guilty of ‘forgery of official documents’.
Winful Cobbinah, who currently plies his trade with Albanian Champions KF Tirana was hit with the shocking sentence at the Tirana court on Tuesday after he was found guilty of forging his residence permit.
The Tirana midfielder was dragged to an Albanian court last month for allegedly forging documents to receive Albania passport.
Cobbinah earlier last month was granted full citizenship of the south-eastern European country by President Ilir Meta, together with it came a passport that would enable him to freely move in many European countries.
The decision was heavily criticized by Minister Edi Rama, he reportedly accused the president for forging documents to grant full citizenship to Cobbinah.
This is was on the fact that the Ghanaian has spent only two years in Albania, while it takes five years of continuous legal residence to apply for citizenship and also the Albanian citizenship to Winful Cobbinah was facilitated within eight hours.
The issue led to a clash between the President and the Prime Minister and was dragged to Court.
Cobbinah, who was at the center of the political clash was dragged to court and accused of forging documents to receive the Albania passport.
After proceedings, the Ghanaian midfielder has been found guilty and sentenced to four months in prison in Albania.
Despite being sentenced into prison, there is a big relief for the player as he was declared a person of exemplary conduct. In spite of that, the judge commuted the sentence to 100 hours of community service.
Cobbinah’s good conduct since his move to Albania means that the judge asked him to serve the community for 100 hours because ‘he is not a threat to the society’, judge said when issuing his ruling.
This means the humble Ghana star walks free from any confinement in prison and can continue to play for his top-flight side FK Tirana.
Cobbinah joined KF Tirana in 2018 and has since become an integral member of the team. He last season helped the team win the Albanian league, ending a 11-year trophy drought.
A feat which most believe was one of the reasons why Cobbinah was handed Albania citizenship after spending just 2 years in the country.