Cameroon’s football association FECAFOOT has announced that it has sent home 21 of the 30 players called up for the qualification period for the Africa Cup of Nations Under 17. The reason for this is that the players in question all turned out to be too old after a check. Age fraud is a major problem in Cameroon and to tackle this, the union has decided to tighten up checks.
The Cameroonian Football Association has discovered on the basis of MRI scans that many players were older than they claimed. The association made this discovery through scans of the wrists of football players. The bot age can be used to estimate how old a player is. “They were immediately removed from the selection,” the FECAFOOT said. “Immediate steps have been taken to replace them.”
The union explains that the checks have been carried out at the urging of FECAFOOT president Samuel Eto’o to put an end to civil data tampering, which has tarnished the image of Cameroonian football in the past. “FECAFOOT insists that, especially by educators, age categories must be respected.”
Joseph Minala is the most famous example of possible age fraud. In 2014, the then seventeen-year-old Minala suddenly became a well-known person after he joined the first of Lazio. A photo of the youth player posted by the Romans went viral, as many did not believe he would only be seventeen. “It held back my career and it still does,” Minala grumbled to AFP in 2020 . The midfielder eventually came to four games in the first team and nowadays earns his living at Olbia in Serie C. There was never any question of actual fraud by Minala.