Cameroon’s Wilfried Nathan Douala among 62 players suspended for alleged identity fraud | Cameroon football team

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Cameroon have suspended a player they took to the Africa Cup of Nations in the Ivory Coast earlier this year for allegedly falsifying his name and date of birth, which could lead to them facing a future ban from the tournament.

The Cameroon federation (Fecafoot) on Monday named Wilfried Nathan Douala among 62 players suspended from the league over administrative irregularities, mostly double identity and age cheating.

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There was considerable surprise before January’s Cup of Nations finals, where Cameroon went out in the second round, when coach Rigobert Song picked the 17-year-old Douala, an unheralded player from second division club Victoria United with no previous international experience.

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There was also much comment on social media about whether he was really a teenager when pictures of the player first surfaced. An investigation by the French daily Le Monde claimed Douala had previously played in the Cameroon league using the name Alexandre Bardelli and was over 21 years old.

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Le Monde said it had asked the Cameroon federation to explain the irregularity before they set off for the Ivory Coast but that Fecafoot had declined to comment. Douala did not play at the Cup of Nations but was a registered squad member.

Tournament regulations says that if a fraud or a forgery has been committed, the national association concerned will be suspended from participation in the following two editions of the Cup of Nations. For any administrative error in the registration of players, the national association concerned will be suspended from participation in the next edition, the rules add.

The Confederation of African Football has been contacted for comment.

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