By Sulayman Bah
German third division club MSV Duisburg has leapt to the defense of Gambian footballer YusuphaYaffa accused of fraud by lowering his age, Foroyaa Sport can report.
Serrekunda-born is due to appear in the dock in Italy, where he is also a citizen, to answer to charges that he falsified his birth certificate and passport. This comes after allegations swirled last week that the footballer is a 28-year-old not 19 as he claims.
In a charge sheet that he could formally be grilled in a slated court hearing April 21st, the former AC Milan youth player is reported to have written 1987 as his date of birth instead of 1996 on his social media page, an account Foroyaa Sport understands has been inactive as far back January last year.
Accusations thrown at Yusupha purport, the erstwhile Gambia U-23 trialist must have been 26 during the time of his drafting in Rosseneri’s U-19s set up before switching to German Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt in 2014.
However, MSV Duisburg, the player’s current employers, a club two steps below Germany’s top tier, has swiftly moved to throw their weight behind the beleaguered attacker.
Responding, to a clarification request by Foroyaa Sport on a case that has generated the football world’s attention, the club’s Press Officer Martin Haltermann, rebutted much circulated claims in the media that the Gambian is being sued by his former club AC Milan.
Since start of the furore, Yaffa hasn’t issued a statement or granted an interview preferring to remain tight-lipped. But Martin Haltermann revealed MSV Duisburg ordered the footballer to
observe silence until the matter is resolved.
Below we reproduce full text of club MSV’s reply to Foroyaa Sport.
‘Dear Mr. Bah,
Thank you very much for your kind mail.
Please understand that YusuphaYaffa will give no interviews or statements on the subject, before the facts are negotiated on April 21 on an Italian court.
For your interest: The suit was filed by the municipality of Cuneo (a province in Italy) and not by AC Milan, as some media wrote.
Yusupha has assured us, that his date of birth 31 December 1996 is correct.
Best regards, Yours Sincerely
Press-Officer MSV Duisburg’
Italy retired footballer FilippoInzaghi is among a plethora of witnesses due to be summoned to give testimony in the alleged age-cheating scandal.
A fraud case of this nature carries a sentence six years imprisonment with a possible hundred thousand euro fine.