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West lied about his age - ex-Partizan chief

April 4, 2013
By ESPN staff

Former Nigeria defender Taribo West has been accused of lying about his age by former Partizan Belgrade president Zarko Zecevic, who claims he was 12 years older than he said when he joined the club.

Taribo West
GettyImagesTaribo West could have been one of the modern age's oldest players

West, who played for both Milan clubs before moving to England with Derby County, retired in 2008 and is listed as being 39 on his Wikipedia profile.

However, Zecevic claims that when he turned out for Partizan he was already 40 years old. "He joined us saying he was 28. We only later found out he was 40, but he was still playing well so I don't regret having him on the team," he said.

West made a relatively small number of club appearances during a career disrupted by injury, but made over 40 for his national side Nigeria. He was a part of Nigeria's Olympic gold-medal winning football team of 1996, some of whom have faced questions over their age in the past - including Nwankwo Kanu and Jay-Jay Okocha.

The defender finished his career five years ago in Iran at Paykan FC at the age of 46, if Zecevic is to be believed.