Six Months after trading the Turkish Super Lig for Saudi Arabia’s top division, questions have been raised about the real age of Nigerian striker Anthony Nwakaeme, reports PUNCH Sports Extra.
Nwakaeme, 33, joined Al Fayha for free last summer after spending four years at Trabzonspor, scoring 47 goals and 40 assists in 145 games.
He also helped the Turkish team lift the league title in 2022, their first win in 38 years.
Turkish agent Emre Ozcan believes the former Hapoel Beer Sheva striker is much older than his current claiming age.
“Nwakaeme’s birth certificate says he was born in 1989,” Ozcan said on the Turkish Super League Twitter account.
“There is a good chance that Nwakaeme’s actual age is higher. It looks like there are at least 2-3 more years.”
This is not the first time that agents, club officials and fans have questioned the age of Nigerian and African players.
In January 2022, Watford striker Samuel Kalu was mocked on social media for his actual age, as several Hornets fans insisted he was over 24, the age he was when he joined the club. English club from Bordeaux.
In 2006, Obafemi Martins was accused of being 28 when he was 21 while playing for Inter Milan.
A clerical error in the Nigerian Football Federation at the time made Martin’s date of birth 1 May 1978, making him 28 years old.
The mistake, which the NFF admitted, saw the striker temporarily drop out of the squad as a result.
In addition, former Derby County, Plymouth and Inter Milan defender Taribo West has also been accused of lying about his age.
The former Nigeria midfielder, now retired, joined Serbian outfit Partizan Belgrade in 2002 after leaving Derby County, reportedly telling club bosses he was 28 years old.
But former Partizan president Zarko Zecevic said the defender was 40 at the time.
Croatian media claimed West told club doctors he was only 32 when he was 44, saying it was only after an examination that doctors became suspicious of the club because Taribo’s knees suggested he was older.