Cameroonian soccer age fraud storm continues as ‘EIGHT MORE players under 17 fail tests’

Cameroonian soccer has been rocked by further controversy, as another 11 players under the age of 17 failed age tests, bringing the total number to 32.

The African nation’s Under-17 team is preparing for the UNIFACC tournament, played by the Under-17 teams of the countries of the Union of Central African Football Federations.

Samuel Eto’o, who is president of the country’s governing body Fecafoot, called for all players selected for his youth team to undergo MRI tests to determine the age of the players in an attempt to tackle the growing problem of fraud. of age in the country.

Samuel Eto'o has ordered Cameroon to disqualify 21 under-17 players over age fraud concerns

Cameroon’s soccer president Samuel Eto’o was shocked by the news that 32 players from his country’s under-17 team have failed age tests ahead of their matches this month.

The Cameroon Football Federation issued a statement regarding the starting 21 players

The Cameroon Football Federation issued a statement regarding the starting 21 players

The Cameroon Football Federation issued a statement regarding the starting 21 players

Twenty-one members of his Under-17 team were disqualified earlier this week after failing tests in a setback to Eto’o’s attempts to eradicate the problem in the Central African country.

After the original 21 team members were eliminated, 11 new players who were called up as replacements also failed the tests, according to BBC Sport Africa.

It leaves coach Jean Pierre Fiala scrambling to find replacements and in a race against time to field a team for their matches in the UNIFACC tournament.

The tests are used to determine a player’s age by scanning their wrists and measuring bone growth.

In a statement, Fecafoot said Eto’o had given “strict instructions” for the tests to be carried out “in order to put an end to the manipulation of civil status records that, in the past, tarnished the image of Cameroonian football.”

In his role at Fecafoot, Eto’o has been desperately trying to eradicate the problem of age fraud.

They added: ‘Fecafoot urges all actors, in particular educators, to respect the ages by category.’

Age fraud has been a long-standing concern for African football, with many of its international successes at youth level marred by accusations from over-age players.

Accusations have been made regularly, but there have apparently been few attempts to investigate it by the authorities.

Cameroon is a two-time African champion at Under-17 level and Fecafoot previously blocked 14 players from competing in the AFCON Under-17 tournament in 2017 after failing MRI tests, introduced by FIFA at the Under-17 World Cup. 17 of 2009.

In the summer, the Cameroon Football Federation called 44 players from eight different clubs for a hearing on alleged age or identity cheating, highlighting their attempts to address the problem.

After the initial 21 players were banned, Fecafoot outlined his nation’s position following the failed tests.

They had said: ‘The Cameroon Football Federation informs the public that, as part of the preparations for the UNIFFAC Limbe 2023 tournament, a qualifier for the upcoming Under-17 African Nations Championship, 21 players out of the 30 currently in training have failed in the result of the MRI tests.

Age or identity fraud remains a major source of concern for African football as a whole.

Age or identity fraud remains a major source of concern for African football as a whole.

Age or identity fraud remains a major source of concern for African football as a whole.

‘They were immediately removed from the group. Arrangements were immediately made for its replacement.

‘This action is the result of strict instructions given by the President of FECAFOOT acting under the mandate of COMEX, in order to put an end to the manipulation of civil status records that, in the past, have tarnished the image of the higher body . Cameroon soccer. FECAFOOT urges all stakeholders, particularly educators, to ensure that age categories are respected.’

Furthermore, Cameroon have recently been criticized for hiding the list of players selected for their Under-20 and Under-17 teams.

There are also said to be concerns regarding his squad for this year’s African Nations Championship, with an official list of players yet to be made public ahead of their opener against Congo on January 16.

One of the best-known cases of age fraud involved former Cameroon international Tobie Mimboe, who was found to have been providing birth certificates that suggested he grew younger over time.

In 2019, Guinea were also disqualified from the Under-17 World Cup after two of their players were found guilty of age cheating.

In 1989, FIFA excluded Nigeria from its age group tournaments after discovering that the birth dates of three of its players at the 1988 Olympics were different from those used by the same players in previous tournaments.

After becoming president of the Cameroon federation in December 2021, Eto’o vowed to reform the game in the country and is stepping up his efforts for precisely that.

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