New OM recruit, Congolese central defender Chancel Mbemba has been facing doubts about his real date of birth for many years. Fifa had even opened an investigation into this subject.
The question may be asked during his presentation to the media. Even if he is certainly tired of always having to justify himself on this subject. Last reinforcement of OM, Chancel Mbemba is well aware of having always raised doubts and questions as to his real age. Officially, the Congolese was born on August 8, 1994 in Kinshasa. Unofficially, the story is a bit more complicated.
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Nine years ago, in 2013, Fifa confirmed to the CNN channel that it had opened an investigation to clarify gray areas on the identity of the one who was then playing in Belgium, on the Anderlecht side. At that time, its leaders assure that it was born in 1994. Except that its first licenses, signed in the clubs of La Grâce and AS Mputu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, indicate that it is born… in August 1988. “At home, he was born in 1988, confirmed in 2015 in the columns of So Foot the president of his training club. I bought him from a 3rd division team, AS Grace, in 2008 for $1200.”
Officially, he is 27 years old
However, during a qualifying match for the African Cup of Nations in June 2011, his Federation assures this time that he was born on November 30, 1991. To complicate the situation a little more, certain interviews of Mbemba reappear in which he says he is from… 1990. Difficult, therefore, to navigate. In total, four different dates of birth are mentioned. This pushes Anderlecht for a time to put pressure on him and to consider his departure. But as the CNN investigation explained at the time, a Kinshasa court finally validated his version and ensured that he was indeed born on August 8, 1994, to the delight of the Congolese Federation.
Which is not enough to completely extinguish the controversy. Even today, is Mbemba 27, 31, 32 or 34 years old? For OM, the question does not arise. “The 27-year-old central defender, who arrives free, signed up with the Olympian club until 2025 after the success of his medical examination. Born in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, on August 8, 1994, Chancel joined the Europe and more specifically the Belgian club Anderlecht at the age of 17”, wrote Marseille in the press release announcing the arrival of its new recruit, left free by FC Porto after winning two Portuguese league titles.
Indisputable holder under the orders of Sérgio Conceição, alongside the veteran Pepe (39), he played 47 games last season and represents a priori a good pickaxe for the Marseille defense, which was looking for a taulier to make people forget, in particular, the return of William Saliba to Arsenal.