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Fecafoot Disqualifies 50 Players Over Identity Concerns

Fecafoot Disqualifies 50 Players Over Identity Concerns

Paru le mercredi, 13 mars 2024 11:50

The Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot) has disqualified approximately 50 local players from the Mtn Elite One championship playoffs due to concerns over “double identity.” This group includes Victoria United midfielder Nathan Douala, who participated in the recent Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Côte d’Ivoire and was touted as the youngest competitor at 17. Fecafoot harbors suspicions of name fraud, while his club contends a possible federation error. French newspaper Le Monde reports the player’s actual name as Alexandre Bardelli, aged 23.

Discussions on social media and in the press speculate that the “double identity” issue may result in Cameroon’s exclusion from future AFCON tournaments. However, for Eric Mathias Owona Nguini, ex-chairman of Cameroon’s Professional Football League’s Homologation and Disciplinary Commission, “Merely acknowledging the player's multiple identification, despite his selection for this AFCON edition, is insufficient. Concrete evidence is required to prove that federal authorities were aware of his identity issues before his selection. In the absence of such evidence, Cameroon can claim innocence. It would be counterproductive to include a player in the squad who is known to have ambiguous identification, as this could lead to complications."

CAF rules stipulate that an investigation can be initiated upon any indication of fraud or document falsification by national teams. If proven, the implicated association faces a ban from two subsequent AFCON editions, as per regulation article 46. Administrative errors in player registration could lead to a one-tournament suspension and immediate team disqualification, according to Article 47.

Age and identity deception is rampant in Cameroonian football. Fecafoot president Samuel Eto’o, since December 2021, has actively pursued fraudsters to reform the sport. The Fecafoot Ethics Commission has recently initiated proceedings against several players and club presidents for document forgery related to age and identity. In November 2023, Fecafoot disqualified 21 players for age discrepancies in the Uniffac U17 tournament, and in June 2022, it launched investigations into 44 players and their club presidents for suspected document forgery.

Patricia Ngo Ngouem

Dernière modification le mercredi, 13 mars 2024 11:54

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