By Francis Ngira,
On 17th September, 2014 East Africa’s sensational foward Dady Birori also known as Etekiama Agiti Tady by virtue of him owning two passports with different dates of birth, was handed a two years suspension by the Confederation of African Football, CAF for age cheating.
Dadi Siméon Birori who becomes Etakiama Agiti Tady when playing for his Club Association Sportive Vita Club of Congo also had his contract terminated leaving him a more miserable but talented young man. He represented AS Vita Club in the 2014 Champions league scoring a total of four goals, two less than the current top scorerers who include Tanzanian international Mrisho Ngasa.
In the champions league he used a Congolese passport bearing the name Etakiama Agiti Tady date of birth 13.12.2014 which is different from the one fowarded to CAF for the 2015 AFCON qualifying campaign by Rwanda’s Football Federation, FERWAFA.
Where as the player’s case is a clear punishable offence world over that contravenes among others article 135 of CAF’s regulations, someone else at CAF should also be shown the door; it would only be fair if the brunt of this offence is partly borne by those incharge of player registration for laxity. As it stands, a sum of 69 games have been played since the AFCON campaign started on the 12th April, 2014 and a total of 120 matches since the commencement of CAF Champions League on the 7th of February 2014. Etekiama-Birori has been part of all this competitions making notable contributions both at club and national team level that no serious professional would not notice or rather want to know more about the player.
Dady Simèon Birori, date of birth 12.12.1986 made his international debut for Rwanda’s national side, ‘Amavubi’ back in 2009 and has been involved in several FIFA worldcup matches since then; he was part of the striking cog that saw Rwanda go past Libya and Congo to qualify into the group stages of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals to be held in Morroco. Despite terrorizing Congo Brazaville’s defence in the campaign, he will be remembered more for scoring a hatrick that sunk Libya’s hopes on 31st May, 2014.
Rwanda was later disqualified from the group stages and substituted with Congo Brazaville who lodged an official complaint over the players’ elegibility. This was however against the background of a similar complaint by Libya having been dismissed earlier. In their appeal to CAF in June, Libya contested Birori’s nationality to no avail.
What legitimised Congo’s appeal that was not in Libya’s?
Now that article 11 of CAF’s statute states that the disciplinary board has the jurisdiction of sanctioning all offences which may have occurred prior to, during and after a fixture, what then becomes of AS Vita Club’s Champions League campaign since they also seemingly fielded him while fully aware of his double identity and age inconsistency?
How I wish this case was probed further because the same player despite making his international debut for the ‘Amavubi’ in 2009, he also played for Rwanda’s top side Atraco in the Champions League in the same year using a Congolese passport.
N/B:The author is just a live sports camera operator who sees all these through his lens though without sound.