Cameroonian Midfielder Wilfried Nathan Doualla Under Scrutiny for Age Manipulation

Cameroonian Midfielder Wilfried Nathan Doualla Under Scrutiny for Age Manipulation
Then Cameroon coach Rigobert Song called Wilfried Nathan Doualla up for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations

Cameroonian Midfielder Wilfried Nathan Doualla Under Scrutiny for Age Manipulation

Cameroonian football club Victoria United finds itself entangled in a controversy surrounding Wilfried Nathan Doualla, a 17-year-old midfielder accused of age cheating. Doualla’s unexpected inclusion in the Indomitable Lions squad for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations raised eyebrows, prompting scrutiny and social media speculation about the player’s actual age.

The Football Federation of Cameroon (Fecafoot) has taken decisive action, suspending Doualla and 61 other players, including six of his Victoria United teammates, from the domestic league. This suspension comes as part of Fecafoot’s broader efforts to curb age cheating and identity fraud, aiming to address administrative issues plaguing Cameroon’s domestic football scene.

The potential repercussions extend beyond the domestic league, as Doualla’s involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations could lead to severe consequences for the five-time African champions. According to tournament regulations, if his registration is proven to be falsified, Cameroon may face a ban from future editions. The regulations specify that in cases of fraud or forgery, the national association involved could be suspended from participating in the following two editions of the continental showpiece.

Victoria United has staunchly defended Doualla, denying any double identities and attributing the situation to an error on Fecafoot’s part. The club has urged supporters to remain calm, asserting that they have submitted the necessary documents to prove the players’ legitimacy.

This controversy is not the first time Cameroon has faced age-related scandals. In January of the previous year, 21 members of the under-17 squad failed age tests, highlighting a persistent issue within the country’s football system. The reputation of Cameroon as “age cheats” poses concerns, with potential repercussions beyond national borders. The scrutiny and sanctions risk affecting the country’s standing in the global football community, particularly in Europe where clubs may exercise caution when acquiring players from Cameroon.

As the saga unfolds, questions linger about Fecafoot’s oversight, with suggestions that irregularities in Doualla’s registration might have been noticed earlier. The ongoing situation underscores the importance of addressing age-related controversies and administrative discrepancies to uphold the integrity of football competitions and safeguard the reputation of the players and the nation. The Confederation of African Football (Caf) and Fecafoot are yet to provide official comments on the matter.


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