Caf expels 'overage' Kenyan youngsters from Nations Cup qualifiers

Saturday August 11 2018

Nicholas Musonye, Secretary General Cecafa, (left) and TFF Media Officer Clifford Mario Ndimbo addressing press conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on August 10, 2018. PHOTO | CECAFA |

Nicholas Musonye, Secretary General Cecafa, (left) and TFF Media Officer Clifford Mario Ndimbo addressing press conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on August 10, 2018. PHOTO | CECAFA |  

By DAVID KWALIMWA
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The Confederation of African Football has expelled three Kenyan players from the Cecafa region Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in Tanzania.

The continental body acted after medical examinations conducted on the players showed they are above the cut-off age set for competing in this age-group tournament.

The youth competition kicked off in Dar es Salaam on Saturday and will be used to determine which teams compete at the Africa Cup of Nations next year, and later on the Fifa U-17 World Cup.

Following this development, Kenya coach Mike Amenga will have to do without the affected players as the tournament's rules do now allow Amenga to call up replacements.

Football Kenya Federation have pleaded their innocence in the wake of claims they intentionally sent over age players in Tanzania.

“We have written to Caf to explain our side of the story,” said FKF’s media officer Barry Otieno.

“In total, we conducted MRI tests for 30 players at the Medanta Hospital, two failed the exam and the rest passed. We only sent the players who passed the tests to Tanzania. We are also writing to the hospital and requesting for further clarification.”

In total, 11 of the 180 players from the nine participating teams have been expelled following the tests.

“The players were found to be over age,” said Cecafa.

“Caf has two doctors, Yacine Zerquin from Algeria and Sherif Ahmed from Egypt who came here and conducted the tests at the Muhimbili hospital in Dar es Salaam.”

The development comes two years after Kenya was disqualified from competing in the U20 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers after fielding ineligible players.

The development attracted a tongue lashing from President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Nine countries, following the last-minute withdrawal of Somalia, will contest to represent the Cecafa zone in the Africa Cup of Nations U17 Championships that will be hosted in Tanzania in April next year.

Kenya who are pooled alongside Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti and South Sudan, will open their campaign against the later on Tuesday.