21 Cameroon players disqualified from Under 17 side after failing age test

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21 Cameroon players have been disqualified from the nation’s Under 17 side after failing age tests.

A total of 30 players were called up to the squad ahead of UNIFACC tournament fixtures but only nine have been deemed eligible to play.

Every player was required to take part in a MRI scan of the wrist, analysing the maturity and growth of bones to determine one’s age.

However, a staggering 70 per cent of the squad failed the examination and have now been removed from the squad.

The Cameroonian Federation addressed the matter with an official statement and confirmed that they are in the process of bringing in a new set of players for the games.

A statement said: “The Cameroonian Football Federation informs public opinion that as part of the preparations for the UNIFFAC Limbe 2023 tournament, qualifying for the next African U17 Nations Championship, 21 players out of the 30 currently on training have failed at the outcome of the MRI tests.

“They were immediately removed from the group. Steps were immediately taken for their replacement.

“This action is the result of strict instructions given by the President of FECAFOOT acting under the mandate of the COMEX, in order to put an end to the tampering with civil status records which have, in the past, tarnished the image of the apex body of the Cameroon football. FECAFOOT urges all actors, in particular educators, to ensure that the ages by category are respected.”

Cameroon federation president Samuel Eto’o has been desperate to clean up football in the country and get rid of age-cheating ever since he took up the post in December 2021.

In the summer, 44 players were eight clubs for a hearing relating to alleged false ages or identities.

In the past, it was uncovered that former Cameroon international Tobie Mimboe was using ‘Peter Pan’ birth certificates.

He played at two Africa Cup Of Nations tournaments in 1996 and 1998 and had different dates of birth, indicating he got younger rather than older.

— Ferdinand A Baah