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Footballer Lies, Scandals and Fabrications


samjp26
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Joseph Minala got his first game for the Lazio first team this week. Lazio had to come forward and release documents to prove that he is indeed 17, which is doubted by many due to his appearance:

 

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Senegalese press sources believe that he has admitted back in Cameroon to actually being 41 years old and is trying to earn money playing football to send back to his family.

 

You can read the full story below:

 

http://metro.co.uk/2014/02/12/lazio-reveals-official-documents-to-prove-17-year-old-joseph-minala-is-not-41-4301765/

 

Seeing this made me think of some of the funny stories I used to hear about Kanu and Obafemi Martins, or the odd players like Ali Dia. Anybody got any stories they remember? 

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Here is the official statement from the Lazio site btw:

 

 

I have read the alleged statements that have been attributed to a statement posted on the portal senego.net in which I confessed my real age than that resulting in my documents. It's false statements that have been attributed to me by people who do not know and for whom I reserve every action of damage. Joseph Minala.

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A lot of african players don't really know their birthday anyway do they? Something to do with most Africans not keeping track of the dates as there isn't any real need to keep track of that stuff.

 

Could be he's actually in his 20's but thinks he's only 17.

 

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A lot of african players don't really know their birthday anyway do they? Something to do with most Africans not keeping track of the dates as there isn't any real need to keep track of that stuff.

Could be he's actually in his 20's but thinks he's only 17.

Do they celebrate being a year older each year? It'd be a shame not to, just because they don't need to keep track of time.
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‘I took Kanu off the local park. He wasn’t playing, just training on the park on his own - or so he said. ‘He did not have a club four days before that season started and I didn’t have a second forward. I was sitting there thinking where he had gone after being freed by West Brom.

 

So I tracked him down, got him in and stuck him on the bench. ‘He would ring me every Sunday night at 11pm so he knew I was in bed. “Oh gaffer, it’s Kanu here. 'Gaffer, I have the upset tummy, I cannot train tomorrow. I will not be in tomorrow, I do not feel well”.

 

‘Every Sunday. But on the pitch ... first game, I stuck him on for the second half against Blackburn, he got two great goals and missed a penalty for the hat-trick. Monday we went to Middlesbrough, won 4-0 and Kanu got two more goals. He ran from the halfway line for the second. What a goal!

 

‘We got back home to the airport and we were sitting while waiting for the baggage to come. Suddenly he could not get up. His body had given up. We had to lift him into one of those wheelchairs. ‘No matter how the physios tried, his body would not straighten up. They lifted him up into the chair and wheeled him out the airport! He had to leave his car there and he could not drive.

 

The physio had to drive him back. His body had gone. ‘How old is he? 49? I don’t know (officially, he’s 33). But when you think he played at Inter Milan, won the Champions League with Ajax and he’d had a heart problem. In training you’d pay to watch him some days. He could do things you’d never seen. What a lovely guy as well.

 

‘Yet when I took him, people at the club who worked with me went, “He’s finished, Harry”. ‘I said, “No”. I took him and he did fantastic for me and he’s still there now. King Kanu. He’s an amazing talent. Still.’

 

Harry Redknapp's story about Kanu in 2010, I seriously doubt he is only 37 now

Edited by samjp26
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I just meant that because a lot of African countries are very poor, they have other things to worry about, they don't have calendars and the only reason to keep track of the months/year is for the changing of the seasons so they when to harvest crops and stuff. Also there is a huge lack of education in most african countries so most children don't get taught basic things that we take for granted.

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I just meant that because a lot of African countries are very poor, they have other things to worry about, they don't have calendars and the only reason to keep track of the months/year is for the changing of the seasons so they when to harvest crops and stuff. Also there is a huge lack of education in most african countries so most children don't get taught basic things that we take for granted.

 

I think we're on about sub-Saharan players. I don't believe some of them are that mixed up about their age. They have parents and siblings who would want to celebrate birthdays. They have mobile phones, telly and internets. 

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2 true stories for you.

 

One lad from Kenya who played at the same college as i did (after me) and was my roomate later had 3 different passports all different ages on them.

 

One of the lads I coached from Liberia was an orphan and being adopted, he didnt have a birth certificate, so when he went to get one, they just asked him how old he wanted to be.

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One of the lads I coached from Liberia was an orphan and being adopted, he didnt have a birth certificate, so when he went to get one, they just asked him how old he wanted to be.

 

Ah yes! This is what I was thinking about! A lot of poorer africans don't tend birth certificates so don't have a concrete date for when they were born, and sometimes they just sort of guess at it.

 

I'm tired, I couldn't think how to put what I was thinking properly  -_-

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Article in the Guardian from 2010

 

 

 

Forever young: Nigerian football's age-old problem

 

Nwankwo Kanu is 42 and Taribo West, whose career ended two years ago, is in his late fifties, say bloggers in Nigeria
 
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Jay-Jay Okocha in action for Nigeria during qualifying for the 2006 World Cup. Photograph: Ben Radford/Getty Images
 

Nwankwo Kanu's official age is 33 but his real age is 42. Obafemi Martins is not 25 but 32. Jay-Jay Okocha was 10 years older than his "official" age throughout his career. And Taribo West, whose playing career ended only two years ago, is in his late fifties. Who says so? A stream of bloggers on some of Nigeria's most popular websites, in response to comments made after the country's timid effort in last month's Africa Cup of Nations.

 

Failure to win that trophy is nearly always considered a scandal in the continent's most populous nation but Nigeria's latest misadventure in the tournament triggered a particularly explosive condemnation back home.

 

It started when a former manager of a leading Nigerian club told the Lagos Guardian: "What happened in Angola is a confirmation of what has been happening in the past where most of our players falsified their age during competition. Most of the players are beyond the age they professed and this made it impossible for them to withstand the pace of teams like Zambia and Benin."

 

It also led to an entertaining discussion that shows no sign of abating as the Nigerians, who have three months to prepare for the World Cup, reacted to the criticism by sacking the coach. "Our boys are old, we are paying the price for age cheating," said Ken Anugweje, a former national team doctor and board member of the Nigerian Football Federation.

 

Suspicions about true ages of some Nigerian footballers date back 20 years. Fifa banned Nigeria from all international fixtures for two years after finding that the birth dates of three of their players in the 1988 Olympics were different from ones used by the same players in previous tournaments.

 

A year later Pelé famously declared "an African team will definitely win the World Cup by the turn of the century" after watching seemingly promising Nigerian youngsters lift the Under-17 World Cup and reach the final of the Under-20 competition. How was Pelé to know that the so-called Under-20s of 1989 were so old that, in the words of George Onmonya on nigeriavillagesquare.com, "most of our players have now retired and become grandpas"?

 

Nigeria have a rich tradition of seemingly promising youngsters who mysteriously fail to fulfil their potential. Phillip Osondu was the best player at the 1987 Under-17 World Cup, after which he was snapped up by Anderlecht, only to drift out of the game and into janitorial work after questions were raised about his real age.

 

The star of Nigeria's finalists at the 2001 Under-17 competition went on to become officially the third-youngest player to appear in the senior World Cup when he started the 0-0 draw with England in 2002. But that was as good as it got for Femi Opabunmi, who by 2005 was playing part-time football in the French lower leagues.

 

A trawl through the blogosphere makes for intriguing reading. "A friend of mine who once played in the Nigerian league told me his real age was 34 but his football age was 21," wrote Onmonya. "You can walk into any immigration office in Nigeria today, forge documents at the nearby business centre, change your name, place of birth, date of birth, pay 7,000-10,000 naira instead of the official price of about 5,500 for an international passport and within hours you have completed the whole process." A new passport, a new person – and if you are a footballer, a younger one.

 

A former employee of the British embassy in Nigeria told Observer Sportthat when visa applicants complained to him about having their applications rejected, he would reply: "Well don't talk to me about it, I'm dead." He would respond to their looks of puzzlement by pointing to the wall behind him, on which hung his death certificate, purchased for a small fee from a Lagos supplier. Fifa reckon they have finally come up with a foolproof way of determining real age. Ahead of last year's Under-17 World Cup in, as it happened, Nigeria, the governing body announced that players would be subjected to wrist scans using magnetic resonance imaging, and this would determine their true age.

 

That led some countries to undertake precautionary scans beforehand. The results were never announced, but Nigeria suddenly discarded 15 squad members, while Gambia omitted 11 of the 18 who had helped them to victory in the African Under-17 championship a few months earlier. Reports claim that retrospective analyses of the previous three Under-17 World Cups showed more than a third of all players were too old.

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2010/feb/21/nigerian-football-age-old-problem

Edited by AVFCforever1991
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