Guinea stripped of World Cup U17 slot for age-cheating, Senegal take spot

May 20 – Guinea have been thrown out of this year’s Under-17 World Cup in Brazil after they were found guilty of age-cheating at the recent U-17 Africa Cup of Nations which served as World Cup qualifiers.

The West Africans have been banned from the next two editions of the continental showpiece – as well as the World Cup – for fielding two overage players in an Afcon U-17 game against Senegal in April.

It originally appeared Senegal had their legal complaint to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) rejected after it was claimed they had 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. The two players, Aboubacar Conté and Ahmed Tidiane Keïta, were suspected of having changed their identity between a tournament hosted by Japan in 2017 and the recent competition.

According to local reports, CAF dismissed the Senegalese complaint, only for its Disciplinary Council to reach a different decision last weekend concerning the aforementioned players who have both been banned for two years. In addition the Guinean Football Federation was handed a $100,000 fine, half of which was suspended for four years provided there is no similar offence during this period.

Age cheating has become the scourge of international tournaments hosted by CAF.  Guinea finished as runners-up at the U-17 Nations Cup, defeating Nigeria on penalties in the semi-final, before a shootout defeat at the hands of Cameroon in the final.

Senegal, who originally finished third in Group B, behind Cameroon and Guinea and thereby missing out on U-17 World Cup qualification, will now represent the continent in Brazil after all.

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