Serie A - Italian FA confirm Lazio youth star is not in his 40s

The Italian FA have confirmed that Lazio youth player Joseph Minala is 17 and not in his 40s as it has been alleged.

Serie A - Italian FA confirm Lazio youth star is not in his 40s

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Joseph Minala

An African website called reported that Minala had told them that he was 41 years old earlier this year and pictures of the player, who admittedly looks much older, went viral with fans finding it incredible he was so young.

Lazio had threatened legal action against anyone disputing Minala's age but the Italian FA said they are satisfied he is the age he says he is after an official investigation.

"The Federal Prosecutor has examined the report and ordered the investigation to be closed,” the Italian FA said.

“There are no doubts about his age. He is 17.”

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Minala shut down his social media accounts in February following abuse over his age.

The Cameroonian blocked photos on his Instagram account, deleted his Facebook profile and filtered out Twitter pictures of himself.

He did, however, tweet the following message: "Envy is the weakness of man, and those with a poor soul hurt others when you are in Serie A. Love you! Forza Lazio."

"He had a difficult time growing up. If you talk to him you’ll realise he is in every way a 17-year-old lad," Diego Tavano told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Lazio released a statement earlier in the year confirming the paperwork on his birth is “absolutely legitimate” and registered with the football federation.

“Lazio denounce this latest attempt from hostile figures to throw a sinister light on this club and are prepared to take legal action to 'protect the good name' of the club and its players," they said.

Minala only joined the Italian giants back in December and has already had an awful lot to deal with. Hopefully now he can begin to make his mark on the field.

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