Scandal; Eaglets U17 Skipper is 25 Years Old

A stunning revelation has been made by former Green Eagles winger, Adokiye Amiesimaka, who claimed that the Golden Eaglets’ captain, Fortune Chukwudi is about 25 years old. Adokiye, a lawyer and former Rivers State Commissioner for Justice, alleged that Chukwudi is at least nine years older than he says he is, saying the player has no business playing in the current FIFA U-17 World Cup. The Barrister, who wrote in his Sunday column for a national daily newspaper, The Punch, titled: ‘Once again, we have let our children down,’ claims that Chukwudi played for his Sharks’ youth team as far back as 2002/2003 football season.

•Golden Eaglets’ captain, Fortune Chukwudi

The revelation, which was reported by a website, late yesterday, picked a hole in the ages of the players featuring in the cadet championship.

“In the 2002/2003 season, I was chairman of Sharks Football Club of Port Harcourt,” Adokiye wrote in the Punch. “I decided to have a feeder team of fresh school leavers not older than 20 years.“As the feeder team concept was relatively new and because I had my own ideas about how a team at that level should be handled, I also doubled as its coach.

“One of my key players then is the current captain of our so-called Under 17 Golden Eaglets. By his own admission at that time, that is seven years ago, he was 18 years old.

“Remember the Magnetic Resonance Imaging, MRI, test that disqualified a greater percentage of players in our previous team as overaged, thereby decimating that team? MRI or not, his football history is common knowledge.

“If we are not utterly irresponsible, how can he be eligible for this tournament when he is not less than 25 years old now?” Adokiye revealed.

The former Nigerian player continued: “I really wonder whether the MRI test was done on each and every one of the players. If, indeed, a thorough exercise was conducted, then FIFA must review the procedure.

“For the avoidance of doubt, it is not only Nigeria that should be the focus of FIFA’s attention, but every participating country in the tournament should also be carefully scrutinised.”

When our reporter cornered Chukwudi after the Eaglets’ training at the Old Parade Ground, Abuja early today, the skipper did not react to Adokiye’s allegation. Rather, Chukwudi, told our man to ask him questions relating to Nigeria’s round of 16 match against New Zealand on Thursday.

“I don’t want to be distracted, I just want to concentrate on our next match which is a knockout and please, please, please, no distraction, okay,” the Eaglets skipper said.

Eaglets’ Coach, John Obuh also declined comments on the alleged fielding of overaged players in the Nigerian team. The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF is yet to make an official statement on the allegation.

Meanwhile, FIFA Vice President, Jack Warner said at a press conference in Abuja this afternoon that the body is still going on with the MRI test and that the players featuring in the U-17 World Cup are being tested at random for doping.