The Zimbabwe U17 team has been kicked out of the ongoing 2020 Cosafa Men’s Under-17 championship over age cheating.
In statement Friday, Cosafa said:
“The disqualification of Botswana, Comoros Islands, Eswatini and Zimbabwe from the 2020 COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship on the basis of fielding over-age players has forced a reset of the competition which will now start on Sunday.
“The Confederation of African Football (CAF) Youth Competitions Committee made the decision to disqualify the teams from the zonal qualifier tournament for the 2021 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations on Friday.
“The quartet all had at least one player fail their magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans that were conducted in the Host Country prior to the start of the competition.”
The punishment will see them miss the next two Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations, and by consequence the next FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
“The tournament regulations are very clear in this instance:
8.5 An age eligibility test will be obligatory and will be performed on all participating players upon arrival in the Host City. The test will be performed by the CAF Medical Services in accordance with the protocol of the F-Marc in a health facility duly accredited in the hosting country using an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) apparatus. The cost of the MRI test will be covered by CAF.
8.6 In the event that a participating team has one or more players who do not pass the MRI test for eligibility, then the applicable team will be disqualified and will have to return home as soon as is practically possible.