Ajax Cape Town CEO John Comitis has slammed a report in the Cape Times questioning the age of exciting young prospect Mkhaniseli 'Makalegs' Siwahla.
Siwahla became the youngest ever player to feature in a top flight South African soccer game when, at 15 years and 173 days old, he scored on debut against Dynamos in an Absa Cup game on Wednesday night.
In a match report in the Cape Times the following day, prominent local football writer Farouk Abrahams insinuated that the player was not as young as he claimed to be, something that has angered Comitis.
The Ajax CEO issued the following statement:
"I am very disappointed about the article written by Cape Times reporter Farouk Abrahams in which he scoffs at Mkhaniseli Siwahla's age.
"We at Ajax Cape Town have a policy whereby we relentlessly pursue the ages of our players by making sure that all of their paperwork is legitimate and in order.
"We found all of Siwahla's documents to be 100% correct and have no reason to believe otherwise.
"In the past we have uncovered players who have lied about their ages and we have immediately released them from the club.
"This was indeed the case with a player by the name of Vuyisani Nyandeni, who was thought to be older than the 15 years of age he had claimed to be as he had already matriculated from school, which resulted in us immediately expelling him from the club.
"Nyandeni then went on to play for Mother City and later appeared in Farouk Abrahams' "Rough Diamonds" column in the Cape Times, which stated that he (Nyandeni) was 15-years old and questioned Ajax's decision in letting him go.
"When I approached Farouk Abrahams about this discrepancy he told me that it was not up to him to investigate the player's age, which I find ironic as he has now taken it upon himself to question Siwahla's age.
"Up until now Abrahams has failed to provide any substantiating evidence to back up his claims.
"If he does actually have any proof then the club will be more than willing to look at the evidence, but if not I feel that he owes Mkhaniseli a public apology as his accusations could be damaging to the youngster's career.
"I am very disappointed that someone with his (Abrahams') influence has gone and published such a story without any concrete proof."