JOHANNESBURG – The Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) announced the disqualification of four U/17 Men’s teams on Friday evening.
The four teams, namely Botswana, Comoros Islands, Eswatini and Zimbabwe, were disqualified from the Cosafa Zonal Qualifier for their U/17 Africa Cup of Nations that is expected to be hosted in 2021 in Morocco.
“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,” Cosafa said on an issued statement.
Cosafa Secretary General Sue Destombes confirms the disqualification of four teams from the 2020 men's U17 tournament in Nelson Mandela Bay and also explains what happens to the tournament. #COSAFAU17 #U17ZONALQUALIFIERS @online_caf pic.twitter.com/iFVkpjgH6G
— COSAFA (@COSAFAMEDIA) November 20, 2020
“The quartet all had at least one player fall their Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans that were conducted in the Host Country prior to the start of the competition.”
MRI scans are used to determine whether players are eligible for any U/17 competitions in particular.
“Doctors look for bone fusions in the human wrist, which are highly unlikely to occur before the age of 17, with a more than 99% accuracy rate,” the statement mentioned.
“If the fused bone can be seen on the MRI scans, then it’s prof that the player is older than 17.
The tournament were clear in this instance and they are as follows:
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 of 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 practically possible.