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French media reopen the case of…Exactly how old is Chancel Mbemba?

2 years ago

Chancel Mbemba signed for Newcastle United back in July 2015.

Eyebrows were raised at the time about the ’20 year old’, not as to his ability after arriving from Anderlecht, more the fact he was twenty years old, allegedly.

Back then in 2015/16, Chancel Mbemba proved to be one of the brighter spots in a relegation season, but doubts remained as to whether he had really been born in August 1994.

The defender had also previously been claimed to have a birth year of 1988, 1990 and 1991.

Moving on to Friday 15 July 2022 (yesterday) and the ’27 year old’ has now signed for Marseille, leading to the French media reopening the great age debate…

It was a similar story back in 2006, many Newcastle fans believing Obafemi Martins had  endured a tough paper round in his youth, as he was declared as a ’21 year old’ when he signed for NUFC from Inter Milan.

GFFN report – 16 July 2022:

‘Following his move to Marseille, doubts surrounding the age of Chancel Mbemba (27) have resurfaced.

L’Équipe looked back on the scandal, which dominated the beginning of the DR Congo international’s career.

In 2013, FIFA launched an investigation into the centre-back’s age due to incoherences in his identity.

He was first announced as having been born in 1988, but during an African Cup of Nations match, he was registered as having been born on 30th November 1991.

His first club, Anderlecht, registered him as having been born on 8th August 1994.

He was then later registered as having been born in 1990 for the sole reason of allowing him to be registered to play in the London 2012 Olympics.

In total, Mbemba has been registered with four different dates of birth.

8th August 1994 is now recognised by FIFA as his official date of birth.

The saga defined the early stages of his career, and even delayed his debut for Anderlecht.

He has since played for Newcastle in the Premier League before moving to Porto. Upon the expiry of his contract with the Portuguese side this summer, he signed a three-year deal to join Igor Tudor’s Marseille.’


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