Monday, April 29, 2013

U-17: Ghana wants Nigeria, Ivory Coast banned


A Nigerian player (left) with a Malian player during their U-17 Championship qualifier in Calabar last year.
Ex-Ghana FA chief Ben Koufie plans to make a recommendation to FIFA to ban Nigeria and Ivory Coast from playing at the U-17 World Cup for age cheating.
Koufie says he will make a recommendation to the world football’s governing body to ban countries from age-group competitions if any of their players fail age tests.
Magnetic Resonance Image scans have been used by both FIFA and the Confederation of African Football to check on the true ages of players as the clampdown on age cheats intensifies.
Nine players were banned from the African U-17 event after failing tests.
The players hailed from Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Congo.
Now Nigeria and Ivory Coast have qualified for the World Cup to be held in the UAE later this year.
Koufie, who has worked with the technical committees of both CAF and FIFA, now wants FIFA to enforce tougher punishments for teams whose players fail MRI scans.
“I am going to make some recommendations to FIFA that it should just not be a matter of disqualifying players from tournaments when they have failed their MRI in a specific competition,” Koufie told BBC Sport.
“If the players played in the qualifying matches for that competition, that team must be disqualified because it used disqualified players in the qualifying process.
“Once you are caught and it is proven that the player played in the qualifying matches then you have to be disqualified.
“Coaching at this level must be taken seriously because that is the formative stage. The U-17 is not a must-win area.”
“I am worried about it because it is not fair at all to the youngsters. It is called U-17 because it is a development stage.”

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