AFCON’S ‘YOUNGEST’ PLAYER UNMASKED AS AN AGE CHEAT

YAOUNDE. — The Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT) have unveiled a list of 62 players, including the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations’ “youngest” footballer, who have been excluded from the play-offs of its domestic season over allegations of age-cheating.

Prior to the start of the AFCON in the Ivory Coast, midfielder Wilfred Nathan Douala made headlines after many questioned his age of just 17.

At the time, many on social media argued that 17 could not be his legitimate age as he seemingly looked much older.

Those suspicions now appear to be merited as Douala, who was the youngest player at the AFCON, has now been included in an official list of 62 players who have been excluded from taking any further part in the Cameroonian top flight this term due to “irregularities in identification and ages.”

This is not the first time something of this nature has occurred in Cameroon, with FECAFOOT having also announced in January 2023 that they had suspended 21 of the 30 players who were selected for the U17 AFCON, also for age-cheating.

This came after that squad underwent an MRI test, which detects the bone development of an individual, to determine a correlation with an individual’s periodic age.

In a statement at the time, FECFOOT said that the instruction came from the president Samuel Eto’o, who was concerned about the reputational damage age fraud could cause for the football organisation, according to SoFoot.

“This action is the result of rigorous instructions given by the president of FECAFOOT acting under mandate from COMEX, in order to put an end to the tampering with civil status which has, in the past, tarnished the image of the umbrella body of Cameroonian football.”

While Douala was selected for the Cameroon team that went to the AFCON earlier this year, he failed to make an appearance at the tournament. — KickOff.com.

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