Former Lazio teen who was forced to deny claims he lied about age leaves Italy for new league after nine years | The Sun

A FORMER Lazio teenager who was accused of lying about his age has left Italy after nine years.

Joseph Minala was caught up in a bizarre row back in 2014 after the Italian FA launched an investigation into his age.

Minala was just 17 when he joined Lazio but faced accusations of being much older as fans circulated his official academy profile picture.

The Cameroonian, now 26, has always denied the rumours and insisted he was not, as some claimed, in his 40s.

He said at the time: "I have read the alleged statements posted on the website in which it says I confessed my real age which was different to what was stated in my [official] documents.

"They are false statements that have been attributed to me by people who do not know."


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The investigation eventually cleared both the player and Lazio and confirmed his age.

Minala has now departed Italy permanently for the first time in almost a decade.

The midfielder has joined FK Liepaja, a Latvian football club who were only founded in 2014.

The side play in the top division of Latvian football and finished fourth in the league last season.

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It never quite worked out for Minala in Italy and he made only three senior appearances in his seven years at Lazio.

He spent much of that time on loan at Italian lower league clubs including Bari and Salernitana.

He also had a brief loan spell at Chinese side Qingdao Huanghai in 2020 before permanent switches to Serie C sides Lucchese and Olbia Calcio.

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