By Sulayman Bah
Embattled Gambian footballer Yusupha Yaffa has been handed a sigh of relief after a medical report, containing examination of his bone marrow, suggests he is 20 years.
Yaffa is being trialed for fraud in which he was reported to have reduced his age by nine years to gain football advantage in order to be signed by big clubs.
The Serrekunda-born is standing trial before Italy’s National Federal Court accused of being 28-years old and not the 19 years he claims.
The footballer is sued by the province of Cuneo, a city in northern Italy, where he’d once lived.
Cuneo prosecutors based their argument on Yaffa’s social media posts where he’s alleged to have submitted different birth dates – accusations the team of prosecutors have so far failed to provide proofs for.
Proceedings, that have inevitably drawn media attention, reached a stage where the trial judge ordered for the Gambian to be subjected to a bone marrow test.
The medical investigation which commenced work weeks ago, has now finalized its probing, with the panel’s final dossier appearing to confirm Yusupha’s position.
Giving testimony in the case, Giancarlo Di Vella, an associate professor and Turin University’s director of Institute of Legal Medicine who bossed the medical investigation, said Yusupha’s marrows ranges between 18 and 22 years.
The new development to the fraud case –being held in camera throughout –sets the path to conclusion of the trial.
MSV Duisburg, German second tier side continues to stick with the footballer through these torrid times and in a letter sent to Foroyaa Sport January this year clarified their player is being tried by Cunco and not AC Milan as being wrongly reported in the international media.
Retired forward Filippo Inzaghi, current manager of third tier Italian side Venezia, was one of blizzard of witnesses summoned to give testimony.
His significance to the trial comes in the wake of his involvement with Milan’s youth setup where he also coached Yaffa.
Yusupha has had turbulence times dogging his career since transferring to Germany in 2015. Late last year, running through to turn of 2016, he was in the spotlight again on allegations of rape.
In Frankfurt, while with Bundesliga side Eintracht he was alleged to have had canal knowledge of a certain Guinean woman at his flat, allegations later found to be untrue.