A Gambian football star is caught up in a legal limbo that threatens to unravel his football career. The player Yusupha Yaffa who is currently playing for the German side MSV Duisburg, came on a loan from another German team, Eintracht Frankfurt. But his legal nightmare will not be played in a German Court room. For that part of the drama, we will have to retrace his journey from the Gambia.
Yaffa was among the thousands of Africans who arrived in Italy as refugees. He arrived in Italy in 2009 and claimed asylum status. At the time, he registered himself with immigration authorities as a teen. It has to be noted that, registering yourself as a teen almost certainly guarantees you refugees status with a lot of benefits. This is what Yaffa did. The next thing, A C Milan, one of the biggest soccer clubs in the world, quickly signed the talented Yaffa to their under 19 team. Yaffa became a regular for the under 19 team until he transferred to the German league.
Recently however, A C Milan, his previous club found out through Facebook that Yusupha Yaffa is actually 28 years old, meaning he was much older than he claimed when they signed him to play in their under 19. Even though Yaffa no longer plays for them, AC Milan did not take the matter lightly. They have taken their former forward, Yusupha Yaffa to court in Italy for lying about his age. They claim Yaffa told them he was 16 when they signed him in 2013, instead of 25 that he actually was.
To complicate matters further, the legal consequences of the fraud case in Italy could come down to bite Yusupha Yaffa seriously. He may not only pay the price in Italy, but it could cost him big time in Germany as well. His new club in Germany may drop him. Furthermore, it turned out that Yaffa was arrested in 2015 for rape in Germany. This incident happened at a team-mate house. His club, Eintracht Frankfurt, quickly posted the €100,000 bail meaning that Yaffa only spent one night in custody. However, if the court case in Italy found Yaffa guilty, prosecutors in Germany could now give the rape case a second look. Because Yaffa was charged as a teenager in the rape. That means he could now be recharged as an adult, which may make him face a much more severe penalty.