Timor-Leste U-15 national team are having a brilliant run in the AFF U15 Championship 2019. But their performance have been brought under the scanner after being alleged of age fraud.
Timor-Leste are currently leaders in Group A of the 14th edition of the ASEAN youth championship having recorded a 7-1 win over Philippines and a 3-1 win over Myanmar.
They are level on points with defending champions Indonesia on six points and the two sides are scheduled to play each other in the third round of matches in Group B on Wednesday.
However, a section of the internet are now accusing Timor-Leste captain Paulo Domingos Gali Da Costa Freitas, the forward who scored four goals in their 7-1 win over the Azkals, of actually being 22 years old!
And the fans have a pretty good basis to be angry about it because a 22-year-old player of same name and physical appearance has been listed under Timor-Leste’s squad for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018.
Moreover, the TransferMarkt.com page for the player also records him with age 22 and date of birth December 31, 1996. The page also shows the player to have made two international appearances for the East Timorese senior national team.
So, is it a coincidence that a player of the same name and stature and aged 15 years or below is playing for the nation’s U-15 squad at the AFF U15 Championship underway in Chonburi, Thailand?
Not many think it is. And they are waiting for answers for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF).