Da Es Salaam (National Times) – Three players of Cameroon’s team at the Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations taking place in Tanzania have been disqualified from the tournament for allegedly providing false information about their ages.
The three players were reportedly tested positive for over age by the medical committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) ahead of the ongoing competition.
In a note to the head of CAF’s competitions committee, the medical committee revealed the tests done on April 10, 11 and 12 saw four cases of over age players comprising three Cameroonians and one Guinean.
According to the results, Camal Ryan Moumbagna and Arc-en-ciel Mintongo Mpal were both 20 years old while Aliou Soulemanou Hendji was even a year older.
The coach of the cadet lions has criticised the decision, saying “the truth lies elsewhere”. Speaking on Voice Radio on Monday 15 April 2019, Thomas Libii, claimed to have accomplished his duties by overseeing two medical tests before taking the players to CAF.
This is not the first time African players and Cameroonians in particular have been accused of overage. During the 2017 AFCON in Gabon, Cameroon international forwards, Christian Bassogog was suspected by some observers of having cut down his age. They said Bassogog now 23, looks much older than his ‘official age’.
With 18 players instead of the initial 21, Cameroon went ahead to beat Guinea 2:0 during their first encounter on Monday. They will face Morocco and Senegal on April 18 and 21 respectively.
Cameroon have won the trophy only once in 2003, with the competition now in its 18th edition (including tournaments without hosts).
The 2019 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations in Tanzania started on Sunday April 14 and will run till April 28. The best four of the eight teams qualify for the 2019 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Brazil.