Liberia Disqualified from U17 Tournament Due to Age Fraud
... "The team worked with parents, they had a series of meetings with parents who also signed and affirmed the ages of their kids under the age of 17, as per the requirements of CAF and WAFU," Raji said.
Liberia's hope of showcasing potential talents at the U17 Tournament in Mauritania has been dashed following the disqualification of the U17 national team from the tournament.
Liberia was disqualified after it was established that two out of the 20 players on the squad were found non-eligible to participate in the tournament, Liberia Football Association president Mustapha Raji confirmed on Monday. According to Article 27.4 of the U17 nations cup regulations, "If after performing the age eligibility test (MRI) for a participating team and one (1) player was found non-eligible, the participating team will be disqualified."
The junior national team had spent a couple of weeks preparing for the tournament back home and were set to face hosts Mauritania on Monday night in their opening match, but that didn't work out.
"Through the process of preparing for the competition in Mauritania, we decided to work with the technical department to ensure that all of our players meet the age eligibility to meet the right frame by the age requirement set by CAF. The team worked with parents, they had a series of meetings with parents who also signed and affirmed the ages of their kids under the age of 17, as per the requirements of CAF and WAFU," Raji said.
Raji also mentioned that the LFA had scheduled to do the MRI test in Liberia prior to departure, but it never happened due to the required standard.
“We also looked into ways to conduct the MRI test in Liberia, but the Jahmale Medical Center informed us that the MRI machine would only be able to meet 0.33 tesla, while the standard requirement of the CAF is 1.5 tesla. As a result, the FA's due diligence was based on confirmation from the parents of the players who were included in the delegation to Mauritania.”
Tesla is the unit of measurement to define the magnetic flux density. Following the disqualification of Liberia, the match between Liberia and Mauritania, which was scheduled for October 3rd (19h UT) at Cheikha Boïdiya, was canceled.
As a result, the top two finishers in group A, Sierra Leone and Mauritania, are automatically qualified for the tournament's semi-finals.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has blamed the LFA for the national discomfiture, adding that the LFA did not do due diligence with the squad as claimed. A special committee has been established by Minister Zoegar Wilson to look into the team's disqualification.
The special committee, whose investigation has been given six days, has Philibert Browne as its chairman.