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Fecafoot Steps Up Fight Against Age Cheating in Cameroonian Football

Fecafoot Steps Up Fight Against Age Cheating in Cameroonian Football

Paru le mercredi, 21 février 2024 17:56

The Cameroon Football Federation's (Fecafoot) Ethics Commission has initiated proceedings against players and club presidents accused of "forging documents" related to age and identity, according to a commission notification.

The document specifies that several players are suspected of falsifying their age, while some may have also manipulated their identities. Additionally, club presidents involved with these players are under investigation for potential complicity.

A three-day hearing in March is scheduled to address the allegations. While all parties remain presumed innocent at this stage, potential penalties range from reprimands to permanent exclusion from football, according to sources within the federation.

This crackdown echoes President Samuel Eto'o Fils's commitment to combating age fraud since his 2021 election. Fecafoot acknowledges the practice's detrimental impact on leveling the playing field between African and Western teams. Players who exploit this loophole often reach their peak earlier than their peers and subsequently underperform at senior levels, hindering national teams' success.

Franck Happi, Fecafoot's Director of Football Development, highlighted the issue on a television program last year, referencing the contrasting careers of Nigeria's Mikel John Obi and Argentina's Lionel Messi, discovered at the 2005 Junior World Cup. While Messi remains a global star, Obi's career prematurely ended due to inflated age documentation.

Fecafoot demonstrated its stance last year by disqualifying 21 players from the Under-17 Central African Football Federations' Union (UNIFFAC) tournament held in Cameroon. The federation also mandates national identity cards for all players participating in youth tournaments.

Michel Ange Nga

● Fact Cheking



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