December 3, 2023
Ghana has been banned from qualifying for the next two editions of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Ghana will appeal the fine and suspension imposed on its under-17 women’s soccer team after it was found guilty of age fraud.

The North African claimed that two of the Black Maidens players were out of age.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) investigated the allegations and banned Ghana from participating in the next two editions of the CAF U-17 Women’s World Cup qualifiers and added a $100,000 fine.

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has said it will submit an appeal in writing to CAF.

A high-ranking GFA official told BBC Sport Africa: “We had previously sent a written defense when this allegation began.”

“As a body, we are very confident that CAF’s Appeals Board will overturn this decision.”

This is not the first time Ghana has been accused of cheating at the youth level.

Back in 2014, the men’s under-17 team was suspended from the 2015 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations after being found guilty of cheating in a qualifying match against Cameroon, with the Central African national team being replaced by Ghana at the tournament in Niger.

Treatment of dental fraud in Cameroon

Meanwhile, the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) Ethics Committee has begun hearings involving 44 players from eight different clubs accused of age and/or identity fraud.

Players from amateur clubs and a few domestic leagues are being investigated, and several club presidents accused of complicity are also involved in these cases.

Fecafoot official Emerick Tegumo told the BBC that the players convicted in the hearings, which are set to end on Friday, face a six-month ban.

Hearings are a rare attempt in Africa to stop age fraud or identity fraud, which has long been a major concern in the game across the continent.

Accusations of cheating are regularly leveled – many of Africa’s international successes in the junior tournaments have been clouded by allegations of using over-aged players – but tactics have been introduced to try to stop it.

FIFA began performing MRI scans at the U-17 World Cup in Nigeria in 2009, focusing on players’ wrists to calculate their age.

In 2017, Fecafoot banned 14 players from the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon after they failed MRI tests, which provide detailed images of the inside of the body.

Fecafoot president Samuel Eto’o, the former Cameroon, Barcelona and Inter Milan striker, has promised to reform the game in the central African country. When he was elected in December.

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