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Fact Check: Gabon footballer Guelor Kanga’s age controversy

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As anticipation builds for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, recent speculation has arisen regarding the true age of Guélor Kanga Kaku, a player for the Gabon national team. 

 

How it started:

The Congolese Football Federation, also known as FECOFA lodged a complaint with CAF in May 26, 2021, alleging a fraudulent manipulation of the player GUELOR KANGA’s identity, as registered by the Gabonese Football Federation, where he is listed as a Gabonese citizen.

FECOFA contends in its complaint that the player’s true identity is KIAKU KIAKU KIANGANI Guelor, born on October 8, 1985, in Kinshasa, and asserts that he is of Congolese origin. 

Consequently, FECOFA maintains that the player’s registration with FEGAFOOT as an international player representing the Gabonese Football Federation is deceptive and raises doubts about his eligibility.

 

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Claim: Guelor Kanga Kaku is facing an inquiry from CAF for alleged age and nationality fraud. Reports suggest that he might face the CAF disciplinary committee to address the discrepancy between the claimed death year of his mother in 1986 and his reported birth year in 1990. 

 

Fact: False. The case was already dismissed by the Confederation of African Football in 2021.

 

The claim that Guelor Kanga Kaku is currently facing an inquiry from the Confederation of African Football for alleged age and nationality fraud is false. 

One noteworthy irony in the entire controversy surrounding Guelor Kanga is the substantial blunder made in attempting to allegedly falsify his birthdate. 

This player was embroiled in a controversy in 2021 that nearly led to the disqualification of his nation from the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. 

Should the midfielder’s claim that he was born in 1990 be accepted, it would mean his birth occurred four years after his mother’s reported death. 

According to the BBC, CAF already dismissed the case in 2021. The assertion that he will be meeting the CAF disciplinary committee in 2023 to explain the discrepancy in his birth year and his mother’s death year is not accurate.

Kanga played for the Panthers in all six of their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, including both games against DR Congo 

According to a CAF in a statement released on May 26, 2021, it stated “ Moreover, after having examined all these elements, the Disciplinary Jury considers that the claims of FECOFA as well as the elements presented by the latter were not considered convincing and sufficient to establish the materiality of a falsification of the player’s identity on the part of FEGAFOOT; Furthermore the disciplinary jury was not able to note any irregularity concerning the eligibility of the player in question, nor its registration within the CAF;

It further stated that “The CAF Disciplinary Jury purely and simply rejects FECOFA’s complaint”.

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