Cameroon scandal: 62 players banned for falsifying identity and age.

The Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT) has suspended 62 players for falsifying their identities and ages in an unprecedented scandal in African football.

In an unprecedented move, a high number of players in Cameroon's first division have been suspended for using false identities and falsifying their ages. The sanction means they are ineligible for the MTN Elite One play-offs. In total, 62 players have been declared ineligible for the local play-offs by the confederation (FECAFOOT) due to irregularities that have been reported across Africa for years.

The most notable case is that of 17-year-old Victoria United midfielder Nathan Doualaa, who was called up by Rigobert Song for the Indomitable Lions national team. The team has seven professional footballers involved, although it is not the one with the most players implicated in the Cameroon scandal.

Victoria United midfielder Nathan Douala falsely claimed to be 17. OPOPOUNITED
Victoria United midfielder Nathan Douala falsely claimed to be 17. OPOPOUNITED

Young Sport of Limbé have a total of 13 players implicated in the falsification of documents, an unfortunate fact that will go down in the annals of world football. Only four clubs have been cleared and will be able to finish the season with 100 per cent of their squads in place. They are Coton Sport of Garoua, Canon of Yaoundé, Stade Renard of Melong and Aigle Royal of Manoua.

In the midst of this delicate situation, Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o is being investigated by the Confederation of African Football for his extensive history of scandals, including match-fixing, inciting violence, physical threats, abuse of power and spreading false information.

In 2022, the former Inter Milan and Barcelona player pleaded guilty to tax fraud while playing for the Catalan club and agreed to a suspended 22-month prison sentence and a fine of one and a half million dollars. His rap sheet did not end there, as in 2023 he was offered the role of ambassador for a betting company, which he accepted despite being banned by FIFA.

This matter is nothing new. It has been known that for many years that African players often provide false information because in some parts of the continent it is very difficult to prove a person's real age, leading to the use of false documents.

Samuel Eto'o (L), president of the Cameroon Football Federation, at the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations. GETTY IMAGES
Samuel Eto'o (L), president of the Cameroon Football Federation, at the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations. GETTY IMAGES

List of players sanctioned by FECAFOOT:

-Young Sport Academy (13): Arnaud Messanga Messanga, Fabrice Kamaka Fils Njiberu Durell, Kelvin Tah, Nchindo John Bosco; Precious Chinazah, Cédric Wayi, Silus Mungala, Valentine Abeweh, Mujimbu Ramadan, Ousman Kengne, Amidu Mohamed, and Robert Koneyi. 

-Victoria United (7): Nathan Douala, Nji Richmond, Ndanga André, Martin Menoua, Kylan Tchunte, Ikoi Sergeo and Germain Fina.

-As Fortuna (7): Marc Essono, Pascal Ze Ze, Jean Daniel Enama, Yves Mbappe, Junior Njoh, Patrick Russel Mbarga and Mbao Hedah.

-Ums de Loum (5) Bertin Nguemaleu, Joseph Cousin Ndongo, Camille Noah, Ryan Pharell Kouam and Etienne Julien Andjama.

-Colombe du Sud (5) Franklin Kamleu, Junior Evouna, Alex Jakai, Rodrigue Mvondo and Maxwell Cho.

-Gazelle Fa (4): Yoan Alphonse II Efala, Ibrahim Zakari, Philippe qmataba and Mohammadou Wale.

-Dynamo Douala (4) Jordy Youmba, Evrard Pangip, Alain Zidane Bikoe and Prosper Nlend Ntep.

-Union de Douala (3) Noël Austin Ajoh, Yves Enzo Borgne and Sokmak Keller.

-Fovu de Baham (3) Paulin Banda, Junior Bandji and Cyrille Ngando.

-Apejes (2): Zacharie Arthur and Tcholefack Igor.

-Pwd Bamenda (2): Nundi Fonda Christian and Mfor Divine.

-Bamboutos Mbouda (2): Bekono Mengwa and Lend Horty.

-Astres Douala (2): Lyonga Jonas Ekoi and Rodrigue Joël Kamga.

-Avion du Nkam (2) Yohan Nolan Malone and Rodrigue Manga Ottou.

-Fauve Azur (2) : Marc Bertin Atangana Amougou and Abdoul L'almani.