Apologies for the late posting of this bizarre story.
Football giant Lazio has threatened legal action against a Senegalese website which has claimed 17 year old player Joseph Marie Minala is actually 41 years old.
The club said in a statement:
‘Lazio denounce this latest attempt from hostile figures to throw a sinister light on this club. We reserve the right to take action against those responsible for the protection of the good name of the company and the footballer.’
Minala’s agent Diego Tavano told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport:
“He had a difficult time growing up. Talk to him and you’ll see he’s a 17-year-old lad in every way.”
The Cameroonian star joined the Italian team last year and has done exceptionally well in the youth team under-20s championship. But Senego.net claims Minala confessed he was turning 42 this August and had lied about his age in order to send money home to his family in Cameroon. Minala’s childhood friends also claim that the player is a lot older.
In response to the allegations Minala said:
“I have read the alleged statements posted on the website in which it says I confessed my real age which was different to what was stated in my official documents. They are false statements attributed to me by people who do not know me.”
I am sorry but this does not look like a 17 year old. Compared to his team mates Minala looks like he could be their father and in his late thirties / early forties.
Did no one at Lazio question the legitimacy of his age when they first clapped eyes on him?
His agent says he had a ‘difficult time growing up’ which explains why he looks a lot older than his years. But I still find it hard to believe that this man was born in 1996.
You can be 17 years old and look mature for your age but not THAT mature.
This is a Nollywood film in the making….