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11 more Cameroonian U-17 players fail age tests



Eleven more Under-17 players joined the previous 21 members of the Cameroonian squad who have failed age tests in the forthcoming youth tournament, bringing the total number up to 32.

The African nation’s U-17 team are preparing for the UNIFACC tournament – contested by the Under-17 teams of the Central African Football Federations’ Union countries.

The President of the Cameroon Football Federation, Samuel Eto’o, called for all players selected for their youth side to undergo MRI tests to determine players’ age in an attempt to deal with the rising problem of age fraud in the country.

It leaves coach Jean Pierre Fiala struggling to find replacements and in a race against time to field a team for their fixtures at the UNIFACC tournament.

The tests are used to determine a player’s age by scanning their wrists and measuring bone growth.

In a statement, Fecafoot said Eto’o had given ‘strict instructions’ for the tests to take place ‘in order to put an end to the tampering with civil status records which have, in the past, tarnished the image of Cameroon football.’

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They added, ‘Fecafoot urges all actors, in particular educators, to ensure that the ages by category are respected.’

Age fraud has been a long-running concern for African football, with many of their international successes at junior level clouded by allegations of over-age players.

Accusations have regularly been made but there has seemingly been little attempt to investigate it from the authorities.

Cameroon have twice been African champions at Under-17 level and Fecafoot previously blocked 14 players from competing in the Under-17 AFCON tournament in 2017 after failing MRI tests, introduced by FIFA at the 2009 Under-17 World Cup.

In the summer, Cameroon’s Football Federation summoned 44 players from eight different clubs for a hearing into alleged age or identity cheating, highlighting their attempts to deal with the problem.

After the initial 21 players were banned, Fecafoot outlined their nation’s position following the failed tests.

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