Football sensation Gabadinho Mhango can now breath a sigh of relief as Fifa has accepted his new particulars meaning that he is no longer a minor as his previous passport indicated.
The new travel document has the player’s date of birth as September 27 1992 and not 1996 as was stated in the previous one.
The Nation can reveal that Gabadinho, through the Malawi Embassy in South Africa, applied for a new passport [number MA 40738] that was issued by the Department of Immigration in Blantyre on September 11 2013 and will expire on September 10 2023.
The new travel document, whose copy was sourced by The Nation, was stamped at Chileka International Airport indicating date of departure as September 14 2013 and was also stamped by Immigration authorities at OR Tambo International Airport the same day, confirming his entry in South Africa.
He was granted a one-month visa, which will expire on October 14.
Although Malawi (FAM)-Fifa transfer matching system (TMS) manager Casper Jangale feigned ignorance of the matter yesterday, a response from Fifa media office confirmed that FAM corrected the player’s age.
Part of the latter written by Jangale to Fifa on September 19 2013, reads: “Please find attached proof of identity for Gabadinho Hellings Mhango, a Malawian football player, born on 27th September 1992.”
In response, Fifa wrote: “We would like to inform you that your request has been processed. Please find below our response:
“According to the passport provided, player Gabadinho Hellings Mhango is over 18, therefore, it is not necessary to enter a minor application if the player wishes to be transferred to another association. Do not hesitate to contact us if any questions arise.”
The development means Gabadinho’s new South African club Bloemfontein Celtic can register him with the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in the next transfer window (January 2014) upon successful processing of his work permit.
Gabadinho could not be reached for comment in South Africa yesterday.
The development puts to rest the controversy that surrounded his age as four different ages came up. n