Wednesday Nov 20, 2019. 10:00
DR Congo forward Meschack Elia has been banned for a year by his own association after being found guilty of falsifying his age.
The highly-rated TP Mazembe star has six goals in 21 international caps, and featured in all of the team’s matches at the recent Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.
But his fraud was reportedly uncovered when he was due to make a move to, ironically, Swiss side Young Boys, as officials found that he was born in 1996 and not 1997, as his documents stated.
“The Congolese Football Federation (FECOFA) has suspended the player with no access to sports facilities, and extension to the national teams of the DRC, CAF and FIFA,” a statement said.
“Elia, influenced by an agent, ended up in Switzerland trying to join the Young Boys team in Bern. And did so by presenting a false passport, where his date of birth indicated 1997 and not 1996.
“FECOFA then concluded that the age in the passport was a forgery and suspended it based on several points of settlement.”
Elia was also reported to have signed for Belgian side Anderlecht before the proposed Swiss move, but that transfer never materialized with no explanation given.