months after swapping the Turkish Super Lig for Saudi Arabia’s topflight, doubts has been raised over the real age of Nigerian forward, Anthony Nwakaeme, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
Nwakaeme, 33, joined Al Fayha on a free transfer last summer, after spending four years at Trabzonspor, scoring 47 goals and with 40 assists in 145 games.
He also helped the Turkish side lift the league title in 2022, their first triumph in 38 years.
Turkish agent, Emre Ozcan, believes the former Hapoel Beer Sheva forward is much older than the age he currently claims.
“Nwakaeme’s birth certificate says he was born in 1989,” Ozcan was quoted as saying on the Turkish Super Lig Twitter handle.
“There’s a good chance Nwakaeme’s real age is greater. There seems to be at least 2-3 years more.”
This is not the first time the age of Nigerian and African players have been questioned by agents, club officials and fans.
In January 2022, Watford forward Samuel Kalu was taunted on social media over his real age, as several Hornets fans insisted he was older than 24, his age when he joined the English club from Bordeaux.
In 2006, Obafemi Martins was accused of being 28 when he was 21 while he was playing for Inter Milan.
An administrative error at the Nigerian Football Federation at that time had Martins birth date placed as May 1, 1978, making him 28.
The error, which the NFF admitted to, saw the striker temporarily quit the national team as a result.
Also, former Derby County, Plymouth and Inter Milan defender, Taribo West, was also accused of lying about his age.
The former Nigeria centre half, now retired, joined Serbian team Partizan Belgrade in 2002 after leaving Derby County and reportedly told club bosses he was 28.
But ex-president of Partizan, Zarko Zecevic, said the defender was actually 40 at the time.
Croatian media claimed that West told club doctors he was only 32 when he was 44, saying it was only after an examination that the doctors raised suspicions with the club because Taribo’s knees suggested he was older.