10 Players who altered their age


In the wake of the recent age-cheating scandal of Meschack Elia, here are 10 footballers who were confirmed to have altered their ages, including a former Kaizer Chiefs star.

Elia was slapped with a 12-month ban this week after going AWOL, falsifying his age with a new passport and allegedly seeking asylum in Europe as a refugee.

But the DR Congo international isn't the first player to have come out to admit to the phenomenon that continues to plague football.

While there have been several cases alleged in South Africa and African football as a whole, there aren't many cases of players proven without them actually admitting it.

Seuntjie Motlhajwa was one of the rare occasions when a player was found guilty, having claimed he was two years younger than his actual age.

Former Free State Stars defender Musa Magagula admitted in 2016 that he used the identity of his cousin Goodman Sauhatsi in order to forge a career in the Premier Soccer League.

There were more extreme cases abroad with Gourav Mukhi, who was handed a six-month suspension for age-cheating by a staggering 12 years.

And this was after making global headlines for becoming the youngest scorer in the Indian top-flight history, while he featured alongside Australia legend Tim Cahill at Jamshedpur.

In the other high-profile incidents, Carlos Alberto lied about his age in order to feature at the U20 World Cup with Brazil in 2003, in which he played a starring role in their triumph.

He was caught three years later and slapped with a one-year ban from football and endured a nomadic career in Brazilian football thereafter.

Tobie Mimboe, a 42-time capped Cameroon international was another famous example, he age-cheated more than once and was later dubbed as the Peter Pan of football.

At the 1996 African Cup of Nations, he would have been 31 had he used the same documents that he had used in South America which indicated he was born in 1964.

When he joined Gençlerbirli─či after that tournament, his documents revealed him to be in his twenties (30 June 1974). At the 1998 African Cup of Nations, he gave the date of birth as 30 June 1970.

The lest of the list comprises of the youngest scorer in AFCON history, Shiva N'Zigou, Juan Espinoza and former Chiefs striker Collins Mbesuma - who made a remarkable revelation in Kick Off Magazine in 2016.