Lazio have released two statements insisting Joseph Minala is 17 years old and threatened legal action.
The issue has gone viral after photographs of the youth team player in the Viareggio tournament and intensified today with an African website claiming he had ‘confessed’ to being 41.
“I became aware of supposed statements attributed to me on Senego.net in which I confessed to my real age compared to the one on my documents.
“These are false comments that were attributed to me by people I do not know and I reserve the right to take legal action against them for damages. Joseph Minala.”
Lazio also released a separate statement confirming the paperwork on his birth is “absolutely legitimate” and registered with the football federation.
“Lazio denounce this latest attempt from hostile figures to throw a sinister light on this club” and are prepared to take legal action to “protect the good name” of the club and its players.
The Senego.net story might’ve originated in a French football comedy website desinfosdufoot and was taken out of context to appear genuine.