Suspicions have been rampant for years regarding the use of over-aged players in younger FIFA tournaments.
Fueling the concerns have been African teams’ success in under-17 and under-20 tournaments – success that the continent’s team have been unable to duplicate in full-aged FIFA competitions.
Now we know, as suspicions have been confirmed, at least in this case.
Three players each from Congo-Brazzaville, Ivory Coast and Nigeria have been banned from playing any further part in the competition.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) tests that scan the players’ wrist plates revealed the illegal participants, who were all using fake birth certificates.
This could have huge consequences in larger matters; teams have been banned from World Cups before for using over-aged players in youth tournament. The United States, for instance, was greatly assisted in 1990 when Mexico was banned from World Cup that summer in Italy.
Mexico was banned from all international soccer for two years, including the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea and World Cup Italia, for using over-aged players in an under-20 FIFA tournament.