Usually we at Technica care a lot about the good, happy, positive stories in football.
But there are also the negative stories from the marvelous football world that are just so surprising that we want to share them with you.
Cheating is never okay.
However, when a football star tells that as a child he lied about his age – that is, he lied himself to be older, because he would like to start earlier playing football and play with the older boys, then it probably does not do much harm.
On the other hand, it is bad when you hear in children’s football that clubs lie about the age of their players to use an older player to strengthen a younger team.
In professional football, it is not uncommon to lie yourself younger than you are and this can be especially an advantage if you want to be spotted as a talent and get a professional contract.
For, of course, a fine football player of 18 years will have an advantage physically and football-wise if he competes with 15-year-olds. Some have even admitted their cheating. Also in quite extreme cases.
There is, for example, the story of Gourav Mukhi, who in 2018 became the youngest goal scorer ever in the best Indian series, the Indian Soccer League – and received a lot of publicity in the big country as a mere 16-year-old teenage top talent.
The problem was just that the Indian Football Federation investigated the matter and revealed that he was in fact not 16 but a full 28 years old.
Gourav Mukhi would not agree to that age, and in the end it was agreed in a somewhat strange compromise that he was then 21 years old.
Gourav Makhi was given a six-month ban for cheating with his age, but still plays for the same club, Jamshedpur FC, in India’s best league.
One player who got a great career out of the scam is Tobie Bayard Mimboe from Cameroon. He was a national team player and participated in the African Cup of Nations, the African Championships, in 1996 with a birth certificate saying he was 31 years old. The following year he joined the Turkish club Gençlerbirliği, and hocus-pocus – now his documents suddenly showed an age of 23 years. Another year later, he competed for Cameroon in the 1998 edition of the African Cup of Nations, and now, according to the papers, he was 28 years old.
Even in the football country above all others, Brazil, it has been experienced with Carlos Alberto, who in 2003 won the U20 World Cup with his yellow-shirted national team, although it was later revealed that he was actually 25 years old at the time.
In another South American country, Ecuador, Angel Cheme went double-cheating when, during a trial training as a teenager, he simply stole the identity of another talent – and continued to play under his name, Gonzalo Javier Chila Palma. The real Gonzalo was three years younger, so the fake Gonzalo simply extended his time in youth football by three years and eventually got a contract. In 2010, the real Gonzalo found out about the scam and the fake Gonzalo got a yearlong ban from football. The real Gonzalo had long ago given up a football career and became a priest.