By Andrew Warshaw
April 23 – An over-age cheating storm has broken out at the under-17 African Nations Cup in the latest controversy to engulf the regime of CAF president Ahmad Ahmad.
Morocco have threatened to report Cameroon to FIFA for allegedly fielding over-age players at the ongoing tournament in Tanzania.
Cameroon beat Morocco last week to qualify for the semi-finals and reach the U17 World Cup in Brazil later this year, but Morocco want them thrown out.
Nigeria, Guinea and Angola have also booked World Cup places but Moroccan FA (FRMF) president Fouzi Lekjaa, a big wheel within African football, says CAF has been far too weak in dealing with the issue of over-age players even though six were banned before the tournament started,three of them from Cameroon. Other teams who had players failing the MRI tests were Guinea and hosts Tanzania.
Lekjaa says rather than stopping the guilty parties from participating, the most suitable sanction would be the expelling the countries involved
“I will not keep quiet about what is happening at the Africa U17 Afcon in Tanzania. It’s scandalous,” Lekjaa was quoted as saying.
“I am sorry to say CAF is totally unable to handle this case relating to the age of the players. It is not enough to suspend players who are above the legal age. They (CAF) should rather disqualify these teams and punish officials who are responsible for this situation.”
“I called the president of CAF to express my anger. The Morocco national team fielded a squad of young players under the age of 17 against Cameroon who had players who are 25-years-old. We are studying the possibility of resorting to FIFA,”
“CAF must suspend the competition and perform all necessary tests to ensure that all players who are above the legal age are punished.”
Senegal, who like Morocco failed to reach the last four in Tanzania, are also protesting against the alleged falsifying of date of births and have filed a complaint with CAF – this time against Guinea. Senegal claim they have evidence that two Guinea players forged their date of births to be eligible for the tournament. Both the implicated players featured when the Guineans beat Senegal 2-1 in a Group B match last week.
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