Former Nigerian International Taribo West has been accused of lying about his age when signing for clubs.

The defender, who played for Derby County, Internazionale and AC Milan among others, is 12 years older than he claims to be, according to former Partizan Belgrade president Zarko Zecevic.

West, who is know for his colourful hairstyles, joined current Serbian SuperLiga champions Partizan in 2002, and their former president Zecevic has stated that the defender lied about his age when signing for the club.

“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,” said Zecevic, according to Yahoo Sport.

The Nigerian left the Serbian club after just two years, and had brief spells with Plymouth Argyle and Iranian club Paykan Tehran before retiring in 2007.

Therefore if Zecevic’s bizarre claims are in fact correct, it means West would have been an astonishing 46-years-old when he hung up his boots and would be over 50-years-old today, not 39 like his Wikipedia profile claims.

This news may also cast doubt over the credentials of Nigeria’s Olympic gold-medal winning football team from the 1996 Atlanta Games, because if the former Partizan president’s calculations are correct, then West may have actually been 34-years-old and not 22 like people believed.

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