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Cameroon suspends 62-players from its national team



Cameroon suspends 62-players from its national team

The Cameroonian Football Federation (FECAFOOT) that is in charge of governing the Cameroon national team, has taken decisive action against age fraud within its ranks, suspending a total of 62 players, including the youngest member of their squad for January’s Africa Cup of Nations.

The official list, released by FECAFOOT over the weekend, highlights the suspension of 17-year-old Wilfried Nathan Douala, who raised eyebrows with his inclusion in Rigobert Song’s squad for the tournament held in the Ivory Coast.

FECAFOOT asserts that Douala, who captains Victoria United, falsified his age, leading to his disqualification from participation in the Elite League’s playoff games. While Douala’s true age remains undisclosed, he joins a group of 61 other players facing suspensions for similar age misrepresentation.

This move reflects FECAFOOT’s commitment to addressing longstanding administrative challenges within Cameroonian football. The federation’s president, Samuel Eto’o, has been vocal about eradicating age fraud, a persistent issue plaguing the country’s footballing landscape.

Song, Cameroon’s coach, garnered praise for spotting Douala’s talent in domestic league matches, leading to his inclusion in the national squad.

However, despite the excitement surrounding his selection, Douala did not make an appearance on the field during the tournament. Cameroon was eliminated in the round of 16 by eventual finalists Nigeria.

The crackdown on age fraud isn’t new for Cameroon. In the summer of 2022, FECAFOOT initiated hearings involving 44 players from eight different clubs over alleged age or identity cheating.

Subsequently, in January 2023, another scandal erupted when 21 members of the Under-17 squad were disqualified for similar reasons, indicating the persistent nature of the issue within Cameroonian football.