Taribo West, according to Zarko , was older than his normal age and was lying about his age and it showed clearly as time went on.
It is a common thing in Africa to see footballers doing new passports, new birth certificates and the rest to coincide with their “football age” when they get a club. They end up deceiving the teams as they may actually be at the twilight of their career in relations to their real age.
I was shocked to see Benjamin Ayim, a boy I coached when doing my national service whose real date of birth is February 19, 1993 now holding a birth certificate with a date of birth (February 19, 2000) and doing a passport to claim he was born in 2000 though he was actually born in 1993.
How can a boy I coached and taught in Basic school after I completed University when he was 15 years in 2008 still be 20 years in 2020?
The effects of age cheating on African players always has been negative after they secure contracts abroad as they easily fade out by the time they are expected to shine, for example Juan Veron of Argentina played with Ghana’s Emmanuel Duah, Nii Odartey Lamptey and others in the FIFA Under 17 world cup in Italy in 1991 and though Veron and others played up till 2017 before retiring, the Ghanaian players retired over a decade earlier.
Further, Francesco Totti of AS Roma also played with the likes of Essuman Dadzie, Kenneth Sarpong, Daniel Addo in 1993 in the under 17 world cup but Totti played up to 2017 where as the Ghanaian players faded out before the new millenium due to age cheating.
More recently, Chrisantus McCauley, Ransford Osei, Akinsola Kabiru and others shone brightly in the under 17 world cup in Korea in 2007 because they cheated on their age , now they are nowhere to be found as the likes of Rafael, Eden Hazard, Danny Welbeck, Christian Benteke, Tony Kroos and others are who used their real ages have progressed to the top.
For African football to reach the highest apogee and for an African country to win the world, one thing which must be curbed is age cheating and clubs should investigate players before they sign them.